November 23, 2006 Another Windy Day at Patriot Hills

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Children of Punta Arenas enjoy the festival

It’s the 23rd and Larry, Wayne and I are still in Punta Arenas.  We’ve been spending most of today staying close to my cell phone so we could get our regular update about the winds down in Patriot Hills and what the flight crew thinks.  Wayne in the Shackleton BarIt’s still very dusty down there and they can’t risk us taking our 4.5 hour flight and be over the Blue Ice runway with gusty winds that would make a landing impossible and cause us to return all the way to Punta Arenas.  That would be a very expensive mistake and not a productive one for us getting to Vinson.

Punta is still a lot of fun though.  Today we were out in the plaza and there was a wonderful children’s festival going on.  You couldn’t help but smile as you walked around and saw school classes with their teachers and many mothers and older sisters out celebrating life with the children of Punta Arenas.  A really fun and festive atmosphere.

Last night we were still at the Shackleton Bar until quite late, pondering our Antarctic adventure and visiting with several other people heading down to the ice on the same flight with us.  A lot of excitement and anticipation but as I sat and look at the photograph of Sir Ernest Shackleton, he was a fellow that used to have to raise money for all of his adventures and that one very famous story of how he came back to Punta Arenas to the very room we were in last night and spent weeks trying to raise money for the funds to go back and rescue his men stranded on Elephant Island. 

Larry in the Shackleton BarA lot of history in those walls and a lot of excitement here in Punta Arenas.  But day to day we are still enjoying this lovely little city at the tip of South America and we are anticipating our adventures to come but we’ll report to you each day on our progress or our activities her in Punta if we do not leave.  We’ll keep you posted each day.