Somebody asked what I’m bringing to Antarctica, so I thought i’d show you my gear, all packed up and ready to go. Last year I took a rolling duffel bag, which I checked in because it was big, and discovered on the trip that I took about three times as many clothes as I needed. (Laundry is easy to do in your room, and there are special rubber-lined closets to dry Antarctic-sodden clothes which are perfect places to hang laundry.)
This year I’m taking only carry-on luggage: a small Osprey soft carry-on bag and my classic High Sierra backpack, which I buy by the threes in case they stop making them (each daypack lasts about 1.5-1 years). WIth these two bags I don’t have to check in any luggage, which prevents loss and saves a lot of time. (Last year armed Chilean robbers stole the checked in luggage from about half the passengers on one cruise by hijacking the luggage trains.)
So, below is my kit: Osprey bag to the rear, daypack in front, and my Hurtigruten waterproof and water-resistant pants I was issued two years ago. If I didn’t have a computer, a fat wad of paperwork, and a 1400-page paperback of A Suitable Boy, I’d be traveling even lighter.
I would highly recommend using packing cubes (I favor Dot&Dot nylon ones), both large and small, which are light but let you roll your clothes up into a tiny apace. Those and using Rohan light travel clothes, which dry almost instantly, have changed my travel life.
My Covid-19 PCR test that I took yesterday afternoon came back negative late last night, and I’ve submitted it to both United Airlines and the Chilean government, and am good to go with both. Tomorrow at this time I’ll be going to Houston, lay over there for a few hours, and then fly the nine hours to Santiago. There we’re in quarantine in a hotel and can’t leave our rooms till 4 am the next morning to catch a 7 am flight to Punta Arenas at the tip of Chile. There, soon after arrival, we board the ship, which leaves Tuesday afternoon. (They turn the ship around in half a day).
During our half-day quarantine in Santiago, we just undergo yet another RCR Covid test, and then another (probably a “rapid” test) before we board the ship. And of course I’ll need one to go back to the USA; the ship provides those, I’m told.
With any luck I’ll be here on Tuesday at about 10 a.m. Wish me luck.