My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part V

Beautiful Chile to Antarctica – copyright 2009 Jack W. Cummings

Eighteen days after leaving the winter weather of Boston Harbor, we sailed into and docked in the warm waters of Valparaiso, Chile. Today, as I write his, it is a balmy 83 degrees there, so I can only assume that it was at least in the 70 – 80 degree range during our four day stay there.. It was a welcome change. Since members of the wintering over party were only passengers, we were permitted to come and go as we pleased. With this in mind Charlie, Tom, and I made our arrangements to take the train to Santiago and spend a couple of days exploring this beautiful city. Since we did not have any civilian clothes with us, we would have to travel in our dress blue (wool) uniforms. I don’t remember this being anything that we were concerned about. About the only thing I can remember about that train trip there and back was what horrible condition the train tracks were in, which made moving around the cars nearly impossible. I did spend some time in the dining car where I enjoyed a breakfast of “huevos rancheros” which included a thick steak. It was an amazing meal, and it only cost $1 US. All I can recall about the countryside that we travelled through was sparsely populated areas similar to southern California. To see if this train was available now, I “flew” the route between Valparaiso and Santiago via Google Earth. It is apparent that the train route is no more and has mostly been replaced by a modern four-lane super highway. I recently read the blog of Carla Appel who had in September, returned to South America from New Palmer Station and was pleased with the modern buses serving Chile and Argentina. I suspect that old train has been replaced by a modern highway and deluxe buses. In my “flight” I observed what appeared to be a very prosperous countryside. Continue reading “My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part V”

My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part IV

Heading South On Board the USS Edisto – copyright 2009 Jack W Cummings

On 10 December 1964 the USS Edisto left Boston Harbor and set a course for Anvers Island on the Palmer Peninsula in Antarctica (Some time ago the peninsula was renamed “Antarctic Peninsula). Commander Norval E. Nickerson had been the commanding officer of the Edisto since May, 1963. He had completed 3 Arctic deployments since taking command. During that time the Edisto had participated in Arctic replenishment of all the areas requiring icebreaker services in Labrador and on both the east and west coasts of Greenland. CDR Nickerson had under his command not only a crew well trained in Polar Operations, but also a ship that had been proving herself since she was commissioned on 20 March 1947. Anyone wishing to learn more about this proud ship can do so at

Continue reading “My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part IV”