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The Top 5 Antarctica Tours

May 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

Tours in AntarcticaThere are a variety of ways to travel to Antarctica, each one offering something a little different from the others. Whether you are searching for the lap of luxury on your visit or something a bit more reserved, there is sure to be an option that adheres to your style.

5. Strictly Scenic- Perhaps you do not want to walk on the continent and that is perfectly okay. You can choose to take a scenic cruise that goes to Antarctica but generally only makes a visit to the region with a longer cruise around the border of South America.

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5 Breath-taking Views in Antarctica

May 19, 2013 at 9:03 am

Large Iceberg in Antarctica1. Emperor Penguins- This species of penguin is exclusive to Antarctica, so you can’t go anywhere else to observe them in their natural habitat. Seeing the penguins in the wild is much more exciting than viewing them behind a glass cage at the zoo. Emperor penguins make an incredible journey to feed their offspring every winter that is truly a sight of a lifetime. The male penguin will incubate the egg while the female returns to the sea in a group of thousands (traveling as many as 75 miles) to feed; parents will then take turns foraging and incubating the egg.

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The Challenges of Building a Structure in the Antarctic

July 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Constructing any kind of structure in Antarctica can pose quite a daunting challenge. The primary consideration is, of course, the extreme weather conditions that are prevalent in the region. Antarctica is known as the place with the coldest temperatures and the strongest winds, not to mention a very low precipitation level. The average temperature along the coastal areas is -10 degrees Celsius; and, as one moves into the interior regions, the temperature gets even colder, with temperatures averaging -60 degrees Celsius. Low pressure weather systems are also frequent in Antarctica, which can result in gale- force winds that go beyond 100 kph. When blizzards occur, temperature can quickly plummet below freezing and visibility can get very poor, which hampers any activity done in the outdoors.

Aside from having to cope with such adverse climatic conditions, a building contractor also has to take into account several factors prior to commencing construction. The presence of strong winds necessitates a strong building foundation. Layout has to be carefully considered as well because of problems like excessive snow buildup in certain areas. Moreover, very strict environmental laws are enforced in Antarctica in order to preserve its pristine surroundings. This means significantly minimizing waste and pollution while construction is being carried out.

The very demanding nature of an Antarctic construction is exemplified by the building of the Belgian Antarctic research station, the Princess Elisabeth Station. Contractors had to first choose an appropriate building site, which they eventually found in a granite ridge two hundred kilometers inland. The ridge not only offered a stable anchor for the structure, it also provided protection from snow accumulation. Moreover, the location was a good research ground and allowed the station to run solely on wind and solar energy.

Logistics was not easy for the construction team, too. All materials, equipment, supplies and machinery had to be shipped to Antarctica and then transported to a site two hundred kilometers from the coast. In accordance with the environmental regulations in Antarctica, one of the very first shipments that arrived was a zero-emission wind turbine that provided clean energy for the station. To facilitate transport, the wind turbine was placed inside a container similar to the construction trailers found on this site. These containers can be easily obtained via websites of construction trailer rentals such as http://www.constructiontrailerhq.com/construction-trailer-rental.php.

The saying, “Rome was not built in a day,” certainly applies to structures built in Antarctica. Construction depends on what the seasons and the weather allow. In the case of the Princess Elisabeth Station, building it spanned more than one season because the very harsh weather conditions during winter did not allow for work to continue. Construction also had to be done in modules. Anchoring the building was done first before work started on the external structure. The interior included wall modules that had nine layers of insulation that minimized heat loss and kept out the cold.

Even with the extreme difficulties mentioned, construction is Antarctica is ongoing and will go on in the years to come. Aside from providing very good research environment for many countries, the continent is gaining popularity as a unique travel destination. With such prospects, the edifices in Antarctica will likely increase rather than decrease.

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Getting iPhone Coverage On An Antarctica Cruise

May 18, 2014 at 8:58 am

When we think of Antarctica we picture a desolate land of ice and snow complete with cold treacherous winds blowing around and the odd penguin appearing as well. While this might not be too far off the mark, the continent is extremely beautiful in its own way and many people enjoy the features and the native wildlife population on a cruise.

However what about cell phone coverage? It perhaps isn’t something that many people think about however having a device that works out in the remote waters of Antarctica can be very beneficial. A recent survey was conducted focusing on the Apple iPhone and in particular jailbroken Apple iPhone devices. The survey gauged the status of coverage on the iPhone in the region and how this compared to other areas particularly popular cruise routes.

People have purchased an iPhone for its superior quality and the have probably purchased a jailbreak to access new features. If you jailbreak iPhone 4s then you also get an unlock service too whereby you can connect to virtually any network in the world. This is key to holidaying and taking a cruise around Antarctica as a normal iPhone device has many disadvantages in this region one being that it can’t connect to an available network.

Furthermore what many people do when sailing off the coast of the barren continent is take pictures. The iPhone 4s has one of the best cameras of any of the iPhone devices however without proper network coverage they cannot be shared via social media until the user gets back home. The survey that we spoke about above showed that Antarctica had the lowest 3G and network coverage in the world and while this is no surprise considering the location it can be improved for cruise goers and tourists.

Ever since jailbreaking was released for the iPhone 4s many users have noted that their device – while getting many new features – also manages to pick up coverage better in general. Some holidaymakers to the Antarctica region have also noted that they get a better 3G signal with a jailbroken iPhone 4s than their friends who are only running the standard default model. It is easy to jailbreak an iPhone online with one of the many services available and if you want to be able to use your device when taking an Antarctica cruise then it is something that we recommend you do.

Rumors of 3G coverage being extended and made more available in the area are abound particularly as more people are now taking s cruise to the region. For a lot of people it is a once in a lifetime event and one of the few places in the world that is still left almost untouched.

If you are taking a cruise to Antarctica then it is a good idea to make the most of your iPhone device and ensure that you can connect to a network. Even beside the stunning landscape, fascinating wildlife and extreme conditions a working jailbroken iPhone can make your trip to the continent even better.

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Career Options That Are Available In Antarctica

May 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

There are unique job opportunities throughout the world, but most people do not think about the opportunities that Antarctica can offers they believe that there are simply not jobs here. On the contrary, there are several jobs that are available within Antarctica, that may be just what you are looking for.

Research

There are several people who use Antarctica as their base for research. These people are researching numerous things including the habitat, the melting of the ice and snow, weather patterns or the like. During any time of the year, there are people who call Antarctica their home for several months at a time who spend their days researching and writing their findings that most often than not end up being published in scientific journals.

Forklift Drivers

There is a high demand for forklift drivers, fork lift operators and the like within the area. The reason for this is that ships are consistently coming to the area in order to deliver goods to the stations that are permanently here for research purposes. Forklift drivers are going to find that they will spend their days moving freight from ships or planes to where the goods need to be. Although driving a forklift can be a dangerous job, there are training courses available to help reduce injuries on the job. It is important to note that getting a job as a forklift operator requires a license or certification, however this is fairly easy to obtain.

Research Center Workers

Within the many research centers that are located in Antarctica, there are numerous jobs that are going to be available. Ranging from a cleaning staff member to those who help to ensure that everyone gets fed, as there are usually cafeterias that are located here. There is also a need for drivers to help researchers get to where they need be, along with pilots of helicopters or the like.

Photographers

There are several of those who travel to Antarctica for their job as a professional photographer, though most of these people are doing this on their own dime or for their publication. The area is full of some great photographs, and those who are lucky enough to get these are going to find that their photographs can easily become popular due to the area being so beautiful and hard to access. Most research facilities are not going to promote photographers coming into the area, due to the dangers that may be present. Thus, this is a private job rather than one in which the government contracts for.

The important thing to note about these jobs are that they are considered to be in a dangerous climate and area. Those who work here should be aware of their surroundings and follow the safety rules that are laid out for them when they start working in the area. The jobs can be very satisfying, no matter what job you have, and it is also something that is different, that you won’t get to experience in your lifetime. There are several who spend a few years in this location for their job, and then move on, allowing others to come and experience what all the area has to offer.

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Getting In Shape For A Trip To Antarctica: How To Train

May 12, 2014 at 10:06 am

When training to go to Antarctica, individuals have to make sure that they use the right training program for their health and body type. Each training program should start out gradually and slowly build up to the desired level. If the individual becomes sore or has an injury, they should consult with a doctor before working out harder. In addition, drinking plenty of fluids will help make it easier for the body to recover before, during and after the workout. Climbs and treks in Antarctica require an almost super human level of fitness. Due to this, a large amount of preparation and physical training is necessary before any trip.

Timing

Training for Antarctica should begin as soon as possible. Ideally, the training program should peak right before visiting Antarctica. This ensures that individuals have the best physical fitness possible before completing their trip. The preparation should start at least a few months in advance and should ideally begin a year beforehand. If the individual is already in excellent shape, a few months may be all that is necessary.

Hitting the Gym

If there are snow-capped mountains and hiking trails available, these outdoor options are great for simulating Antarctica. Although they will never come close in freezing temperatures or snow storms, an outdoor training program can help the body start to adjust to the extreme temperature and environment of Antarctica. When outdoor options are not available, an indoor workout can serve as a substitute. Individuals should begin using cardiovascular machines. Stair training can be done if a long set of stairs are in the area. This type of training should include a pack that gradually increases in weight. You should also make sure you have the right gear equipped when you start your workouts (Read more here for good examples).

Mountain biking or indoor cycling machines should be done on an uphill stretch. When done on a rough terrain, biking can increase the muscle mass and improve aerobic strength. Skiing is an excellent training program because the temperatures and environment is closer to Antarctica. Individuals should make sure that they do some uphill skiing and alpine touring.
Inside of a gym, individuals should make sure to get some running and swimming practice. Both of these exercises help build aerobic and cardiovascular strength. Before or after, weight training programs should encompass bench press, incline bench press, chest flys, dips, leg raises, tricep extensions, tricep pull-downs, ab crunches and calf-raises. Other useful exercises include pull-ups, bar curls, inclined sit-ups, squats and machine rows. If a treadmill is used, it should be set on an incline so that individuals can get the most benefit out of it.

Each day, individuals should start with their weight training session that focuses on certain muscle groups. Crossfit is a great example of a program that integrates weight training along with heavy cardiovascular exercise. You should always make sure you are equipped with the best crossfit clothes before you start taking on this multi-faceted form of intense exercise. Often times in Crossfit training they will follow the weight training session with a cardiovascular workout. This will help blood move through the muscles. To prevent soreness, individuals should stretch before and after working out. Over time, the workouts can be increased to ensure that the individual is ready to face Antarctica. Since Antarctica requires endurance more than strength, the weight training program should focus on using more repetitions instead of heavier weights.

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Preparing for Your Trip to the Antarctic

May 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

If you’re fortunate enough to get to travel to Antarctica you need to be prepared both mentally and physically. While I truly believe it to be one of the most beautiful and special places on earth you need to be ready for the extreme temperatures and isolation.

Before every trip to Antarctica I follow the same regimen: plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of time with family and friends. The diet and exercise make sure I’m healthy as can be when I’m there. The time with family and friends make up for the expected lack of social time.

In addition to being physically and mentally prepared you also need the right gear which includes more than just down jackets and beanies.

Here’s some gear you should definitely consider investing in before your trip:

1) Goggles
If you haven’t spent a lot of time in the snow then you may not realize how bright it is on a clear day. The sun reflects off the ice and snow and is so strong it can cause temporarily blindness in some instances. Because of this it’s essential to have a good set of snow goggles that will shield your eyes from the harmful UV rays. Sunglasses are ok, but goggles do a better ob of filtering our more of the brightness, especially around the periphery.

2) Watch
Your cell phone is going to be pretty much useless so having a watch is a must. These days watches can do a lot more than tell time. A good quality timepiece will also have a built-in thermometer, compass, barometer, and more. Personally, I go for military watches like those found on this site because I know they’ll be able to withstand Antarctica’s extreme conditions.

3) Socks
Assuming you already have a great pair of boots for your adventure you’re also going to want some warm and comfortable socks. While there are some pretty amazing new age fabric technologies available I like to go with the classics. My first choice is always wool. Not only is it hardy but it will keep your feet nice and toasty. And if your feet get hot it will pull the sweat away from your skin so you don’t get cold later. Other great options include cashmere, which is quite pricey, and alpaca, which has similar qualities to wool.

4) Mittens v Gloves
This is an old age question. While people generally agree that mittens will keep your hands warmer, everyone knows you can’t do much work while wearing them. Having your fingers together in the same pocket keeps your hand warmer than if each finger has its own sleeve like in a glove. I always pack a pair of each. If I’m going for a walk or hike and don’t need to operate any machinery or equipment then I’ll wear mittens. If I know I’ll need to use hands a lot then gloves will be my choice. Whichever choice you make remember that keeping your hands dry is most important. So make sure your mittens or gloves are waterproof and don’t take them off unless you absolutely have to.

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Many Routes to Antarctica – Travel Tips & Health Advisory

May 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Antarctica counts itself as one of the most exotic locations a tourist can ever travel to. One of the last landmasses to be explored by humans, Antarctica was once considered an extremely desolated place accessible to only the most well-equipped and tenacious of explorers. Although modern technology has made travelling to and navigating Antarctica considerably easier, it is still not a stroll in the park and any decision to visit the Southernmost continent must not be taken lightly. Moreover, if you are considering a conventional tour package, be prepared to spend at least $5000. Let’s take a look at the different options:

Luxury Packages

These packages offer the greatest convenience as every leg of the trip is well-planned and you are led by a team of experts that go out of the way to make sure that the trip goes smoothly for every member. These packages cost upwards of $10,000 and last anywhere between 7 to 15 days. Note that such packages often also include visits to the Southern end of South America like Patagonia.

Regular Packages

The difference between luxury packages and regular travel packages is that the latter often spans a shorter duration (i.e. 3-4 days) and covers a more specific part of Antarctica. The advantage is that you can mix and match different packages into a more customized trip of your liking. However, you are likely to have to arrange your own transport to link up different legs of your travel. Typically a trip of comparable duration to luxury packages would cost $5000 to $10,000.

Alternative Travel Options

If you have specialized skills like journalism, maritime expertise or scientific research background, you may be able to join research or government expeditions, or even get yourself invited to an expedition as a subject matter expert. You may even join an Antarctica exploration interest group and be part of a team that self-organizes an expedition to the continent.

Take Care of Your Health

Antarctica has one of the harshest climates on Earth. Before you embark on your Antarctic adventure, the first thing you need to do is to get medically certified by a qualified physician. If you have any prior medical conditions, please make sure you inform your doctor and obtain his or her opinion on whether a trip to Antarctica is suitable for you.

If you are travelling to Antarctica in the winter, and staying for more than 2 weeks, one thing you need to take note is the short daytime and hence lack of sunlight. You will be well advised to bring along vitamin D supplements for your trip in this instance.

You may feel that Antarctica is one of the last places on Earth that you need to be concern about UV radiation. However, do you know that ozone depletion, or the hole in the ozone layer, is most pronounced above Antartica? In fact, the UV radiation index in Antarctica can go up to 8 and beyond during summer times. If you are thinking of a visit during this time, you’ll need to bring along enough sunblock. If you have existing  hyperpigmentation  problems, make sure to peruse Look Good Any Age for best dark spot correctors & hyperpigmentation treatments. You’ll do well to prepare and bring these along. In addition, Antarctica is also extremely dry and you may want to have with you anti aging and moisturizing products – many of which are well covered by the aforementioned website by Linda Walker, including best anti wrinkle night creams.

Obtaining the Right Equipment for Your Travel

Whether you are joining a tour or joining an expedition, you will need the right equipment. For a start, you will need the proper clothing to withstand the frigid Antarctic weather. If you are joining an expedition, and especially if its self organized, you may need more specialized equipment, including heavy equipment like containers and aerial lifts. It will be wise for you to visit equipment rental companies  to investigate and compare options before committing to any rental or purchase.

In closing, we have to say that this is by no means an exhaustive guide to your Antarctic trip, however, we hope it is a good introduction and points you in the right direction. If there is one thing you should take away from this, it is that over-preparation is never a bad thing for first time travelers to Antarctica. All the best!

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How Research Bases Work in Antarctica and the Importance of Power Generators

April 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

Antarctica is a continent that is still shrouded in mystery. Due to the ravaging weather in the continent, it is quite impossible for anyone to reside there. However, the place is still perfect for scientific studies and researches. This is the reason why some countries from all around the world have research stations in Antarctica. They wanted to uncover the secrets and mysteries in this massive land. This is also the reason why a lot of efforts are poured out in creating a stable research base for scientists and researchers to survive.

The Importance of Power Generators

Since researches will be stationed in Antarctica over a long period of time, they need to have a research base that also feels like home. This is why they are equipped with electrical devices, entertainment materials, library, and even equipment for outdoor sports. It also goes without saying that they need an air conditioning system to keep them warm all throughout.

With all the electrical items that have to be powered, it is important to have a power supply that can provide electricity over a longer period of time. For instance, in a research base powered by New Zealand, they pour out lots of funds to have a stable power supply. Their Scott base generators for instance have 3 x 200kW AN8 Cat Generators. Their McMurdo Station has 5 x 1400 kW Cat Generators. Aside from the main generator, they also have a backup generator should the 2 main generators have a blackout. In the event of a power outage, it could spell disaster to anyone inside the research station.

Stable Power Generators

The generators used to power equipment and electrical devices in Antarctica are of low maintenance. They were carefully studied so no fixing will be required since it could be very difficult. The backup generators are also in place since anything can happen anytime.

These power generators are important not just for power bases in Antarctica. Any establishment would need power generators. They will see to it that everything runs smoothly. If you wish to find a company that provides power generator rental, then you can visit Rental Force at http://www.rentalforce.com/.

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Visiting Antarctica: How I Was Able to Afford My Trip

April 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Antarctica is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my entire life. I can say that I am very lucky to have done so; not many travellers are actually able to visit the continent. Unlike other places, travelling to Antarctica is really expensive. Riding a ship to the continent and making sure that you are fully prepared to live there (there are no malls, restaurants, hospitals, etc. on Antarctica) can take a toll on your finances. I actually didn’t expect to be able to visit the continent; after all, there was a time when most of my money went to my mortgage. Luckily, I learned some financial strategies that helped me save enough money for my trip. The best part is that you can make use of them too. For instance, you can avail of Village Capital & Investment, LLC’s VA Streamline Refinance service (see: https://www.villagecapital.com/va-refinance/) just like I did.

What is the VA Streamline Refinance service and how did it help me save up enough money for a trip to Antarctica? Basically, through the service, one will be able to reset their mortgage fees and make them lower. After I availed of the service, my monthly mortgage fees instantly dropped. Because of the drop in fees, I was able to start saving up a lot of money for my trip. The best part is that even when one pays off their loan early, they won’t end up incurring penalty fees with the VA Streamline Refinance service – I actually experienced this. In just a little over a year, I was able to have enough money to go on a solo trip to Antarctica. After I paid everything off, I immediately bought a ticket to the continent and packed my bags. In a way, my trip was like my way of congratulating myself for having paid off my mortgage.

Hopefully, this post of mine will prove helpful to anyone who wants to go to Antarctica but is experiencing financial problems. Your mortgage might not be the one causing your problems, but know that there is certainly a way for you to deal with whatever it is that’s keeping you from saving up money. It’s really just a matter of doing research and applying what you learn.

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How I Prepared for Working in Antarctica

April 25, 2014 at 4:24 am

I have just completed a six month stint on the most isolated continent in the world – yes I am talking about Antarctica. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I have enjoyed every second of my journey. Of course, I had a job to do and there was a serious work involved, but it is hard to feel disappointed when you are working in such a unique environment. Most people I talk to are quite interested in Antarctica and my journey, but I am surprised at what parts of the journey they are most interested in. I have found that most people want to know how I planned for such a unique journey. So because I get asked the question so many times I thought I would put it all down in this blog post.

Being Accepted
When I applied for a six-month job in Antarctica I didn’t really hold out much hope that I would be accepted. My boss had suggested that I give it a go because he had worked in Antarctica over 10 years ago and completely loved the experience. I filled out my application and forgot all about it. I was shocked and surprised six months later when I received a call that a position was opening up. I had a series of interviews and, to cut a long story short, I was excepted for a six-month stint on the frozen continent.

Planning the Big Move
How do you plan a trip to Antarctica? That was the first thought through my mind after being accepted for a six month stint on the continent. I had a few months to get prepared and I began to talk with other ex-Antarctic workers to get an idea of what I would need to take with me. I then decided to sell up, store my goods and use this as a chance to completely change my life. Once I had done this I put together all of the things I would need for the journey.

Selling Up and Storing my Goods
In my old job I worked in Chicago for six months and Memphis for the remaining six months of the year. This meant that I lived to two properties and I had household goods and personal belongings in both locations. I sold my apartments in no time and this meant that I was able to head off for this adventure without any worries or concerns back home. I still had some personal effects and household items that needed storage. I was able to find a Chicago self storage locker at http://www.selfstoragebase.com/chicago-il-self-storage.php and I got a really reasonable rate. In Memphis I was able to find a discounted Memphis self storage locker by using selfstoragebase.com again! This meant that I was outlaying less than $100 a month for storage.

Coming Home and Making a Fresh Start
Coming home was a bittersweet experience, but I knew I was returning to a new start and an exciting adventure was just beginning. I have applied for a number of new jobs across the globe and I now have a real desire to find the next unique experience. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up in Antarctica again someday.

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Why I Sleep Better in Antarctica

April 23, 2014 at 7:00 am

Living and working in Antarctica is a dream that few get to enjoy, but the harsh environment can be hard on the body and spirit. Despite this, the extremes actually suit some people and I have found that my sleep has improved in this extreme environment. This is my story.

My sleep problems
I have long suffered with sleep issues and I can trace most of my issues back to childhood when I struggled with nightmares. This badly affected my sleeping patterns and I believe that I developed bad habits during this period of my life that stick with me to this day. I am capable of falling asleep relatively quickly, but I can never get an uninterrupted rest. The best I can ever hope for is about two hours of sleep at a time and then I find it very hard to get back to sleep once I have woken up. However, I have noticed that since I began working in Antarctica that my sleep patterns have actually improved.

Why I sleep better in Antarctica
I don’t have any actual evidence to back up my claims, but there are a number of interesting theories I have developed as to why I sleep better in Antarctica. The first reason may be the climate and the fact that I seem to sleep better when it is colder. The second reason is that for about half of the year in Antarctica is pitch black and this really seems to help me sleep. Thirdly, there is very little for me to be anxious about in this beautiful environment.

Ways I can apply that to my regular sleep routine
Now that I have proven to myself that I can sleep like a “normal” person, I have decided to investigate my sleeping patterns more carefully when I return home. If I can improve the quality of my sleep then I genuinely think a lot of my health problems will disappear. I now know that I can get control over this and with some help I think that I can finally put my poor sleep to rest. For more information about how to sleep please see http://sleep-centre.ca/tsc/sleep-routines/. This resource has been invaluable to me and I hope that it can help you too!

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