Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Penguin hunting

My penguin hunt turned out to be a disaster. 

I got some food and supplies, loaded up my panniers and headed out to see if I could find Seno Otway where there is a penguin colony. I rode down to the Strait of Magellan and then headed north. The wind was at my back and I was cursing along knowing that eventually I would have to bike back into the wind, but hey I had biked to the pole and I was on a penguin hunt. 

The instructions I had found were that you turn left on a dirt rode after the police police check point. So I'm not sure how far this is and I stop at the security booth for Frigorifico Simunovic S.A.

I talk to a couple of young men and figure out I am still heard the right direction. A little after I leave them I look down and my gps is gone. It must have fallen out when I was layer the bike down to talk to them. So I go back, they are gone and some older gentleman is there. I can't figure out how to get him to realize that I had dropped the gps and the other two must have picked it up. So I lost the gps with all my South Pole trip data on it! I want that back so much! If I could figure out how to offer the security guards a reward for the return of the gps I would. 

I eventually give up and in a bit of a sad mood continue on. It is windy. It is always windy here. The tailwind turns into a crosswind with a bit of headwind. I remember why I got rid of the panniers at Thiels. They are so hard to move into a headwind. I am biking with a 30° lean to the left and keep,getting bown off the street. I realize I am not enjoying this. I biked for two months with bad winds and no penguin is going to be cute enough to make this worthwhile. So, at about half way to the penguin colony I turn back, lean 30° to the right and pedal along. When I get to the airport I grab a taxi and go back to the hotel. 

No penguin pictures, no fun, and now no gps data. :-(


  1. Although it is not nearly what you have / had on the GPS, I have saved every point that was pinged out on the DeLorme system. That includes all of the points which are beyond the 85th latitude line.

    1. That is a grand offer. I was near tears just reading Dan lost all that data, losing hi-tech equipment was bad enough. We have some awesome people on this planet that sometimes restored my hope in humanity!

  2. Dan:
    I'm not there with you and yet can still read into how tired and wiped out you must be. This may be a dumb question but considering your somewhat tortured mind and body are you 100% sure the GPS was even on your bike, as in you remember it being there when leaving to find penguins? Do they have any onboard tracking capabilities like many smartphones have these days? Man, perhaps it's just wishful thinking but I can't help hoping it's with you, or there's some way to track and retrieve it. What about ALE, were they tracking you and perhaps have similar data to yours? Whatever the outcome it's my opinion that your making the journey and the stories your mind holds is the best data of all, more important you survive the trip home with those memories and stories to tell than any piece of hardware and software! Best wishes, take care of yourself right now please. My back is in so much pain the last 12 days or so that I've literally screamed out loud in agony just trying to get out of bed or from a sitting position so I've not commented on your posts as much as I'd have liked. Despite the pain, or being bedridden from same, I never stopped following you. Get that mind, body, spirit back to better health and just get yourself home in one piece. My thoughts and prayers, as always, are with you. Maybe the young men you'd met, if you did have the GPS and did drop it near them, and they did pick it up, just maybe they'll also find it in their hearts to find a way to get it back to you, that too is still possible. I'll try writing more later as my health allows. Pain or no pain I'll still be watching, you can count on that! Be well, my Brother, keep the faith and be well!

  3. I'm starting to doubt this whole South Pole story if you gave up on a short outing to the penguin petting zoo. Then you conveniently lost all your GPS evidence? Hmm.

    Kidding. I hope you can get the GPS back. Thanks for inspiring us with your awesomeness.