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- For regular updates related to my travels, guiding work, film and book events or you are simply wondering where the heck I am at the moment, please visit: Travel/Guiding/Adventure blog.
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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Ahh it felt good to be handing over our luggage to the check-in counter at the domestic airport in Ushuaia. Beth-Anne spoke some sweet Spanish which granted us a bit of a discount for all our over-sized and extra pieces of luggage.
Ushuaia gave us a fine farewell with skies empty of clouds and saturated with glorious sunshine.
While on the plane I sorted through neglected paperwork and found notes from the recent Albatross and Prion Island monitoring program which took place this January. I decided to publish the detailed results provided by Sally Poncet on my blog. I thought, while we enjoy the recent posted Albatross photos, it is important to be reminded of their vulnerable status, particularly as I leap into my 'post expedition' project and continue to build awareness of the declining world-wide Albatross populations which continue to be under threat.
Long term monitoring of Wandering Albatross populations on both Prion and Albatross Island have been carried out since 1999. Here is a summary.
NUMBER OF BREEDING PAIRS OF WANDERING ALBATROSS
YEAR ALBATROSS ISLAND PRION ISLAND
1984 171 60
2004 152 43
2008 151 33
2009 140 31
2010 129 33
The funding which provided Sally and her research assistants to carry out this project came primarily from Peregrine Adventures, a tour company who annually bring keen adventurers to Antarctica. I have proudly worked with Peregrine and during each voyage the staff ran a 'Save the Albatross' Auction and raised thousands of dollars which went directly towards this long term monitoring program.
On a completely different note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Beth-Anne – my support kayak queen - what a woman and what a star, she is simply the best.
Beth-Anne you have been an absolute trouper and I have appreciated your delightful company, your limitless wisdom and support, your ceaseless calm and on-going integrity throughout this expedition. You are the mellow sea in an ocean storm, you are the continual voice of reason, the backbone in challenging times and sunshine at the end of a dreary day. I know it wasn't easy, I recognize your every effort and I realize how lucky I was to have you continuously looking out for me and for the success of this expedition. Will you marry me :) I am so chuffed to have got to know you and I wish that we stay in touch and adventure together again.
Here's to Beth-Anne – a dedicated gem of a woman who suffered months of sea-sick misery for the plight of my South Georgia kayak expedition to help save the Albatross. I will miss you Beth-Anne - muchas gracias amiga mia
We landed at the International airport which is situated a good number of kilometers from downtown where our hostel is. As we walked in search of a cab it was difficult to make out our frames behind the towering bags and even more difficult to find a cab that could fit us all in. One Argentinian taxi driver decided to take on the challenge and the exercise gathered a crowd. We could not believe he was able to do it! 6 bloated duffle bags, 2 back-packs, 5 paddles and a small suitcase later, Beth-Anne and I squeezed into the little tiny gap that remained.
During the 45 minute drive, our heads poking up to breath occasionally and squished together like freeze-dried peas we discovered our threshold of discomfort had multiplied over the past few months. I passed comment to Beth-Anne, “Ya know when we suddenly feel uncomfortable, or in pain, or cramped in a situation, all we have to do is remember how we felt rockin and rollin at sea in the steel coffin for 7 days, and suddenly this situation seems real easy to tolerate."
And so, here we are all settled in to our hostel, about to find food and a well awaited haircut and pedicure. Yep, we'll be ladies before you know it, wahoo!