This morning the expeditioners arose prepared for either a good or bad outcome in their long-anticipated flight to King George Island. Unfortunately the Quark Expeditions team announced that current weather conditions still did not permit flights. Finally the Unstoppables made their departure in the early afternoon. The journey from Punta Arenas to King George Island takes two hours, and the 111-strong group of innovators boarded two chartered flights, each with a capacity for 100 people. This allowed plenty of space for extra baggage and for people to change into their warm-and-dry gear before landing.
In an unprecedented twist, at just 15 minutes from the landing strip on the Antarctic island, tumultuous weather forced both chartered flights to return all the way back to Punta Arenas. This is the first time in Antarctic tourism history in which a flight to the island has been forced to turn back so close to landing.
Finally, after waiting an hour back in Punta Arenas, the entrepreneurs made the journey a second time and – this time – arrived safely. For Blrt’s founder Anurag, the experience of landing and getting out in Antarctica was surreal. The two-kilometre walk from the Chilean military airstrip to the shore was equally exciting, where 10 zodiacs (James Bond-style rubber boats) were waiting to jet them off to the expedition ship. They arrived on the Sea Adventurer in the early evening and briefings started quickly. Anurag then sent his first Blrt that night from the ship – a fantastic achievement.
The Sea Adventuer will be the Unstoppables’ home for the next week. They are currently headed down the Antarctic Peninsula from King George Island, aiming to be at Orne Harbour on Day 4. Anurag is enjoying comforts and company on their sturdy vessel, while spending time with the Quark Expeditions crew. He is very excited to explore Antarctica with the other Unstoppables.
“We are going to Antarctica”
The Unstoppables are finally on their way to Antarctica! Anurag is joined by Daniel Di Loreto (CEO Magazine) on the plane.
Going to Antarctica – take 2
15 minutes prior to arriving on King George Island, the Unstoppables’ plane had to turn back due to heavy fog. Blrt founder Anurag and Julio De Laffitte chat about take 2 of their flight to Antarctica.
Antarctica’s first ever Blrt!
In a groundbreaking moment, the first Blrt was successfully sent from Antarctica to Australia, arriving in the afternoon Sydney time. Satelllite internet over Antarctica is sparse and spotty and this was the first time something visually expressive like a video has been sent with such immediacy from such an isolated region. Blrts are 50 to 100 times lighter than video and don’t depend solely on compression methis to achieve this. Here it’s available for the whole world as a public Blrt – go ahead and catch your first glimpse of Antarctica from aboard the Sea Adventurer for yourself below.