Antarctica Adventure - 2002

PASSENGER RESCUE Day 11 The plane was unable to take off from Punta Arenas yesterday afternoon so there was no 9 PM passenger pickup. We awoke this morning to cloudy skies and the startling appearance of a passenger ship completely filling up our window. It turned out to be the sister ship of the Hanseatic, the Bremen. She was doing the same cruise as we except in the opposite direction. Therefore, she was on her way home toUshuaia. A Zodiac exchange was arranged for our ailing passenger who was put aboard the Bremen that also has a doctor and hospital aboard to be returned to Frei-Marsh if an airplane could be arranged. If the plane was still unavailable, he would be taken on to Ushuaia and flown home from there. We wondered whether the med-evac company which had tried to fly a plane in to rescue the man would get any of the money from the insurance, but, of course, we will never know how it all turned out. We were promised reports on the passenger as the cruise continued, but we never did get any word. We can only hope that he got back to the USA and under the appropriate medical care. Later we were told that Geoff had tried last night to talk the Chilean hospital at the FreiMarsh base into accepting the passenger until a flight could get through, but they were adamantly opposed to that arrangement, as who can blame them. They were not equipped to handle serious neurological problems either. Kay and I could only marvel at the good work Geoff had done in all the arrangements he had tried to make and the ones he did make to get the passenger back safely. He earned his salary from Hapag-Lloyd Shipping on this trip for sure! After the interesting patient transfer scene right outside our window, we spent most of the rest of the day in lectures in Darwin Hall while the captain steamed ahead trying to make up for lost time. We were heading towards the legendary Elephant Island where 22 of Ernest Shackleton’s unfortunate crew had to survive for 4 ½ months waiting and hoping that “The Boss” would make it safely to South Georgia Island 800 miles away. And make he did in one of the most exciting adventure stories ever told. In the meantime, we listened to Klemens discuss recent penguin research, most of it designed to learn where they feed, how deep they dive, what they eat, and what are their biggest survival threats. Dave gave us a minute- by-minute description of life during a year on an Antarctic scientific base, and Ross told us in


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