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Day Seven: King George Island

Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Dave!Today the ship arrived at our detour to King George Island so the passenger who was thrown down the stairs yesterday could be air-lifted to Chile for surgery. The hope is that his circulation wasn't badly damaged by his compound leg fractures. If it was, he could lose his leg. The ship's doctor thinks he's going to come through fine despite the serious damage, so fingers crossed.

I can't fathom how much a med-evac for something like this costs. Tens of thousands of dollars, certainly. The flight-time alone out of Puente Arenas is 5-1/2 hours each way. Fortunately, the expedition group requires that you have comprehensive insurance for just such an emergency, so at least the poor guy won't have to mortgage his house after he gets out of the hospital.

But I'm ahead of myself...

Today was the day that we officially crossed into Antarctic waters. I think people were more excited about being in calm waters than they were about becoming "Antarcticans." Being able to walk without being thrown around is kinda a big deal.

King George Island has bases from countries around the world. According to Wikipedia, there are research stations here from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, South Korea, Peru, Poland, Russia, Uruguay, and The United States. Chile's base "Frei" has the landing strip where the med-evac will happen. I snapped some photos of buildings and a helicopter, but have no idea which country they belong to...

King George Island

King George Island

I am told that there is an annual marathon that is run here. Cannot fathom trying to run in the heavy winds that blow through this area of the world, but I guess it's bucket-list accomplishment if you/re a runner.

And... today's progress...

Antarctica Map
©2017 Google Maps

After we've confirmed that the med-evac plane has reached "the point of no return" and will definitely be coming to pick up our passenger, we're headed into the Gerlache Strait and further down the Antarctic Peninsula.

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