Abby Jane Morrell

Narrative of a Voyage,


After getting a good store of hogs, sheep, fowl, and various kinds of vegetables on board, we sailed on our voyage to the Antarctic. For a few days we had pleasant weather, when a gale struck us, which was the first of any magnitude that we had experienced since we left New York. This was tremendous. Every moment I expected to be engulfed in the ocean. Several times I was most violently thrown out of my berth by the surges of the sea. After blowing hard for two days, the gale abated on the first of December. We continued our course to the island of Desolation, with strong winds and now and then a storm of hail and snow. On the fifth of December, we were cheered by the sound of “Land ahead!” and soon came into smooth water. We entered the harbor which was discovered by Captain James Cook, the celebrated navigator, in 1776. No place in either hemisphere hitherto discovered affords a better field for a naturalist than this. The seabirds are numerous, including several kinds of albatross—a greater variety than I ever saw before. They were so thick around the vessel that they were in each other’s way. Seals and sea elephants were once numerous here also.


South Pole,

 c. 2014

If you’re interested in traveling the world, this is a “must.” The penguins are so worth it!

It’s cold. Plain and simple. Bring lots of thermals, blankets, and other items to keep you warm. Stay out of the shade, and you’ll be all right. On the bright side, the penguins are easy to talk to.

Although we had to try to outrun a Pacific hurricane across the Drake Passage, the crossing was tolerable. Wonderful weather made the trip perfect.

Always remember that Mother Nature is in charge and dictates the law over here. Mighty scenery, great wildlife, silence all around.

Antarctica is wonderful, with penguins and ice caves and vistas impossible to describe. Visiting the actual South Pole fills you with a sense of achievement that is hard to beat. On the other hand, it is simply a pole stuck in the snow.

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