This photo was taken on Booth Island (Google Map), looking into Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula. This is where polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot overwintered in 1904 during his French Antarctic Expedition. He was known for sitting on the ice drinking wine and eating cheese - awesome dude. Left here are the remains of a cairn and an observatory, where a break in the “window” perfectly frames Mount Francais, named for Charcot’s ship. There is also an “F” scratched into the sheer rock which leads up to the cairn. 

There’s a story about this photo. When I took it, I could not tell what the orange object was to the right of the fur seal. I squinted, tried to zoom in on it and decided it must be a glove. Only when I got back to the ship to edit did I realize it was the remains of a penguin, sitting perfectly on the rock, possibly eaten by this very fur seal.

The other part of the story is about this day in particular, which stands out as the craziest of my season. It was the 2nd to last trip and the weather had been simply horrid. 4 days of cancelled landings, blizzards, hurricane-force winds. We saw a brief break in the weather and decided to make a go for it at Booth Island, with the agreement among the staff, crew and bridge that if the winds picked up over 45 knots we would hear blows of the ship’s horn and leave shore immediately. I hopped in a Zodiac to be a driver for the operation (with a quick trip to shore to take a few photos), and winds quickly picked up. 45 knots, 50 knots, 55 knots. You can see in this photo that we had 2 anchors down, which is rarely done. It was the only way our bridge team could hold our position. Within 45 minutes, the ship blew its horn but it was so windy none of us could hear it. We knew what had to be done though. The shore team herded our guests back to the landing site and us drivers prepared to shuttle them back to the ship, with waves crashing up to our bows and the type of wind that slices right through you. Goggles on, balaclava up, not a single sliver of skin exposed.

I got my first set of 10 guests in my boat, reversed out from shore and began the journey back to the ship. We were soaked immediately, huge swells, I could barely keep my tiller straight, not to mention maintaining my balance. I saw legitimate fear in the eyes of a few of my guests. It was difficult but I was focused and calm, the only thing I needed to do was get these people back to the ship safely. The most difficult part of a Zodiac ride in poor weather is the gangway approach, where you pull your boat up to the side of the ship, next to a metal structure with stairs. As I approached 3 times, the wind and swells spun my boat around so I was facing in the completely wrong direction. Any way, we finally made it, safely, and I got a big cheer from my guests as they hurried up the gangway and into the warmth of the mud room. 

Arnell, one of the able-bodied seaman who mans the gangway grabbed me by the shoulders to give me a warning for my return trip to shore, he said “Lauren, you must go slow into the wind.” I knew this, but I had also never driven in 55 knot winds, gusting up to 65. The drive back to shore, with an empty Zodiac, straight into the wind was fairly terrifying and I knew that I didn’t have the experience for it. I did make it back to shore and swapped out with my Expedition Leader so he could continue shuttling, which was the smartest decision I made this season. 

Quite the adventure though. When all the staff were safely back on the ship there were plenty of hugs and high-fives to go around.

Looking back at past weekend at the first edition of the Leuven Innovation Beer Festival. A bunch of great brewers with good beers, cosy atmosphere, nice people…..good times! @gooseislandbeer popping some bottles of BCBS and Vanilla Rye was a surprise and made the crowd go a little crazy. Glad that I was serving/helping at the Goosle Island booth so I could get a sip of the black oil in between. Funny to see how the rumour spread through the festival and I then had some people asking for ‘that black stuff that everybody says is so good’ 😁 Super festival that needs to be held again next year. No doubt!! 👍🍻 #beerporn #beer #libf #leuveninnovationbeerfestival #gooseisland #beergeek #belgianbeergeek #hoftendormaal #bourboncounty #leuventheplacetobeer (bij Leuven Innovation Beerfestival)

10 Absolutely Stunning Designer Kitchens
By Architectural Digest.

Renovating your kitchen? Take a cue from these 10 glorious spaces, outfitted by the world’s top architects and designers.

(photo: Pieter Estersohn)

In designer Ray Booth’s home outside of Nashville, Tennessee, pendant lights by Roman Thomas are installed above the kitchen island, which Booth created for the space.

Read more: 12 Gorgeous Rustic Kitchens

(photo: Ricardo Labougle)

A pair of 19th-century ceramic parrots preside over the kitchen of Linda Pinto’s Paris apartment.

(photo: William Waldron)

For his New York City kitchen, designer Jamie Drake installed a custom-made island comprising cabinetry finished in gold leaf by the Alpha Workshops and an overlapping table in Corian with gold inlay.

(photo: Pieter Estersohn)

The kitchen of Sara Story’s sprawling Texas estate includes a Gaggenau refrigerator, a Lacanche range, Dornbracht sink fittings, and stools custom made by Wyeth.

(photo: Douglas Friedman)

Vintage copper pots hang above the original wood-burning stove in Ken Fulk’s San Francisco kitchen, where the designer added a blackened-steel hood and polished-concrete counters.

(photo: Douglas Friedman)

In the combined family room and kitchen of Alexandra von Furstenberg’s Los Angeles home, a Rimadesio table is surrounded by Hans J. Wegner chairs by Carl Hansen & Son from Design Within Reach.

See more: Matthew McConaughey’s Customized Airstream House on Wheels

(photo: William Waldron)

The kitchen of Alessandra Branca’s Bahamas retreat is equipped with a Hunter ceiling fan and a Viking range and hood.

(photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna)

A 1970s ceiling light joins 18th-century prints and Verner Panton chairs in Allegra Hicks’s kitchen in Naples, Italy.

(photo: Simon Watson)

The kitchen of design duo Andrew Fisher and Jeffry Weisman’s Mexico home features cabinets made of sabino and reclaimed pine and a Viking range fronted by a sabino-framed mirror.

(photo: Simon Watson)

More from Architectural Digest:

Inside Joan Rivers’ Luxurious New York City Apartment

Inside Sarah Jessica Parker’s Epic East Village Townhouse

12 Inspiring Kitchens with Farmhouse Sinks

Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s Gorgeous L.A. Home

Cindy Crawford and George Clooney’s Side-by-Side Mexican Villas

7 Over-the-Top Celebrity Homes

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Island Reggae Festival 2015.

Island Reggae Festival 2015.

It’s not too late to sign up for a booth at Island Reggae Festival! Deadline is June 1st. We are no longer accepting t-shirt vendors but most other vendors are welcome. Applications can be downloaded at or email Follow @island_reggae_festival for the most up-to-date info! ISLAND REGGAE FESTIVAL July 4th, 2015 Santa Clara County…

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