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A martini kind of day!

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Celebration abound.  Mission accomplished.


After the most exhilarating kayaking of my life in the 29F waters at 9a, which I a thousand percent don't want to downplay in any single way, at 11:09a I stepped into the waters off the zodiac boat and officially met my personal goal to step foot on all seven continents in 2023!



I’ll talk about that first and then get back to the amazing kayak trip.


There’s really no words to describe the feeling and also how nondescript and uneventful the achievement was.  This was my Olympic moment and I won the gold in a race against no one except myself, but there was no medal ceremony so a martini will have to do.  Okay, let’s be honest, there are going it be SEVERAL martinis…maybe seven.


I feel I’ve earned them.


Here is the precise moment it was mission accomplished:


The hour that we had for the landing went quickly.  I first explored the interior of Damoy Hut, the now museum of an abandoned hut for the nearby airstrip that has since been shut down.  It was used in the 50s and 60s and a stopover to get researchers further south than vessels could reach in the early season due to the icecaps.



I also got to add my name to a guestbook inside the hut. Cole Sjoholm, Grand Junction, CO 12/22/2023


There was an upper and lower trail to different penguin rookeries (nests) and I visited both.  Not being able to kneel, stoop or crouch was difficult, as I wanted to get as close to eye level as possible with the penguins, but it’s not allowed this season in an effort to try and prevent as much contamination as possible.



Back onboard, our boots and lower pants are power washed while on our bodies before we walk thru a boot scrubber and disinfectant that is left on to dry.


Back to kayaking, it was a spectacular morning of blue sky and glass-like water.  The light was perfect, the towering peaks surrounding Port Lockroy are majestic and my kayak partner Amber and I connected and had meaningful conversation as we paddled along the shoreline.





As I mentioned in last nights post, I was worried about sleeping last night in excitement for today’s activities.  Thankfully, I drifted off to sleepy land without any trouble but I was sure to keep the blinds open so I could observe the scenery with every toss and turn.


This is what it looks like at 11:20p on the Summer  Solstice in Antarctica.


I first woke at 5a, and it looked like the same amount of light.  I stayed in bed until about 6a before I got out of bed to fetch my first latte and go up to the buffet for some watermelon and pineapple.  I wasn’t hungry, but I knew I needed to try and eat something before the back-to-back excursions of kayak and landing. First up was kayak prep (dry suit, personal flotation device gear-up) before an 8:45 departure and then upon return, an 11a excursion for my first landing on the continent.


The weather was perfect.  Even the guides had their cameras out and were commenting on how unusual it is at this site.  I guess everything happened perfectly.  A perfect day in a perfect year.  ✅


There were happy tears when back onboard and I finally had a chance to process everything that had just happened.  Sitting at the bar at the aft pool while I ate my sesame chicken, turkey and cranberry sauce with a side of butternut squash puree.  An odd but delicious meal, as they all are onboard the Viking Octantis.


I then worked to download all of the photos for y’all before attending a lecture on Port Lockroy and the UK Antarctica Heritage Trust.  They operate the worlds southernmost post office (one of y’all are getting a postcard from Antarctica in 2 weeks to 1 year), the museum, a gift shop and perform restoration work on the abandoned sites.  They live here from Oct thru mid-March before they leave for the long, dark, cold winters.


Now ready for dinner, as I said in my earlier Facebook post.  Cheers to you.  Cheers to me.  Cheers to spinning.  🥂


Cole from Colorado

Stepped foot on all seven continents in a single calendar year!!!!




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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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