Incredible pics captured by intrepid explorer sailing 5,000 miles through iceberg-filled waters to Antarctica on 100-year-old ship over 52 action-packed days
A BRAVE adventurer sailed on a death-defying 5,000 mile trip through the iceberg-filled waters around Antarctica — in a 100-YEAR-OLD boat.
Andrew Orr, who has an office-based day job as a business analyst, told of how the wooden sailing ship nearly capsized into the freezing ocean on his epic 52-day journey
Boarding in southern Argentina, Orr was among 43 passengers that travelled through the Beagle Channel and spent four days navigating the Drake Passage — one of the most dangerous areas for sailing in the world.
Thr 34-year-old said: “Storms blow through that area and anything can happen.”
“There were some days when you had the right wind and the right sails up that it felt like you were very much on the edge of capsizing.”
One particularly vicious Force 9 storm near South Georgia Island threw waves up to 32-feet tall at the old ship, named Bark Europa.
Even still, the Arizona-based amateur photographer took the opportunity to document his life-changing trip with a collection of stunning snaps.
Andrew explored the vast terrain over four days, including a trip to Deception Island — the home of an active volcano that last erupted in the 1960s.
The volcano provides warm geothermal water spots along the beach, which allowed him to take a polar plunge in the freezing waters.
Orr said: “We dug out some small hot tub-like pits in the sand so the water would fill them up and then we laid in the pits.”
“Once you get enough nerve you can run into the ocean water, which was -1C, and swim in it for a few minutes, then you run back to the hot spring and warm up.”
After sailing through the Weddell Sea, the 43 passengers and 16 permanent crew cruised to South Georgia Island, stopping off to visit two King penguin colonies on the way, including the island’s largest.
The impressive colony is made up of 600,000 majestic King penguins — the second largest penguin species which can grow up to three feet tall.
The Arizona-based adventurer, said: “I’ve been fascinated and read as much as I can about penguins since I was eight years old.”
“To finally get to see them up close and watch the way they interact with each other was incredible to me.”
“One of the best moments I had was sitting on the beach and a curious King penguin came up to me and pecked at my knee.”
Pecking penguins were not the only sight to behold, and the adventurer even saw one unlucky penguin get devoured by a leopard seal.
He also met hundreds of smelly elephant seals during their moulting period.
“They seem like harmless puppies but they’re quite aggressive and dangerous”, he said
“The best way to describe them are like zombies trying to attack you.”
His journey ended 5,000 miles later in Cape Town, South Africa.
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Source: The Sun