Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Sinking of the MV Explorer

Many of you may have heard that on November 23, the MV Explorer sank while sailing near the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. For those of us who have worked on expedition vessels, this event was as tragic as the loss of a loved one. The Explorer, known affectionately as "the little red ship", was the first expedition vessel built for eco-cruising. Lars-Eric Lindblad had her built especially for the Antarctic and it is somewhat fitting that she now resides in that special place.


I took this photo of Explorer while we were sailing on the Amazon River in Brazil between Manaus and Iquitos, Peru.

Many people I have sailed with through the years we on board when this tragedy happened. Bengt Wimar was the captain at the time of her sinking and I sailed with Bengt numerous times to Svalbard, the Mediterranean, and the Amazon and Caribbean. Leif Skog, who was not on board at the time, was interviewed and quoted extensively in the press after the sinking, and questioned if "only ice" could have played a part. We all know that ice oftentimes holds rocks as inclusions from the icebergs land based, glacial origins.

We will forever remember this happy ship and all of the wonderful memories she gave to literally tens of thousands of lucky travelers. To think of her beneath 3,300 feet of icy water is a painful thought.

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