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Where in the World is Smokey?

Sailing to Antarctica

UT Knoxville alumni Virginia Holtman Thigpen ('63) and Janan Flynn Dorris ('62) along with Kimberly Gleaves Roberts, a 1995 graduate of UT Health Science Center,
Recently went on a cruise to Antarctica. They shared this photograph of themselves at Admiralty Bay, Western Antarctic Peninsula.

Thigpen wrote, "Our trip was a pleasure trip and for me it represented my final continent. I have now visited all seven!

"We were on a cruise ship, the Star Princess, and spent five days cruising through the waters of the Western Antarctic peninsula. Since it is summer, some of the ice had melted so that we could see rather barren land, and it was a 'warm' 37 degrees on deck. We did not take a land excursion -- our ship was too large to dock, and we were not equipped to do so. I will save that for my next trip to Antarctica.

"What I found fascinating were the varieties of wildlife. We saw Orcas, Minke, and Humpback whales, as well as many birds. And of course, everyone's favorite -- the penguin. The largest, the emperors, live inland so we did not see them, but we saw Magellanic, chinstrap and king penguins, among others.

"We were fortunate to have two scientists affiliated with the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge University in England with us to provide daily lectures and commentary. Antarctica is a fragile place, and people need to know how best to preserve it. The experience was truly a learning experience.

"Of the people in the photo I sent you, Janan Dorris and I first traveled together to Europe as members of the UT Singers in 1961! We are both retired from teaching and still travel as much as we can. Kim Roberts is a mom and pharmacist in Manchester, Tenn. Her mother, Mary Frances Rudy, was also with us. It was a fabulous trip!


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