What a sacred place. The view from the rocks gives us the perfect vantage point. You can hear the penguins calling out, but what captures me the most is the glaciers. Occasionally, you’ll hear fracturing of the ice. A large crack, and boom. And if you’re lucky enough, see the ice break off and crumble into the deep blue waters below, with such ease as well – like sand falling within an hourglass.
The sunlight is hitting the adjacent mountains, emphasizing its every peak. The thick clouds have given way to reveal an impossibly blue sky. There is no sense of time here – an ideal location for self-reflection. Continue reading →
Getting right to work setting up camp before the light fades
We’re camping out on the ice! Arrived on land before 7:00pm and were immediately put to work to set up camp – shovels were being passed out and slowly, groups of people got together to dig their homes for the night. We had to dig a hole, level the snow, and build a small wall in the direction of the wind to block it from freezing us in the night.
We’ve got lots of penguins near the shore, and a lone seal keeping us company. There is a chance that more seals may appear throughout the night, and we should be able to hear ice breaking off the glaciers and hitting the water, but what I’m most excited to hear is the sound of Antarctica. The silence.
It sounds too crazy to be real, but we did it. After camp was set up, we had the night to ourselves. Did a little bit of stargazing, and once all traces of the sun had disappeared from the sky, we just sat and enjoyed the moment. The number of stars visible was incredible. Continue reading →
Today, we went through Iceberg Alley – what a treat! These giant structures floating effortlessly in the water… magnificent. Wildlife were also abundant today, with the sighting of leopard seals, crabeater seals, gentoo penguins, minke whales, and all sorts of birds. It was truly a pleasure to be allowed to experience this habitat as it is.
Couldn’t decide on just a few photos, so here’s nine more of some of my favorite shots from the excursion. Continue reading →
I’m currently surrounded by gentoo penguins. Made our first landing today – what an adventure! When we first got to the island, the smell of penguin poop was overwhelming, but having been here for over an hour now, the smell is still there but somewhat tolerable. It’s all quite amazing – seeing all these penguins here in their natural environment.
See that snow behind me? It’s not white for a reason.
What a rush! A few minutes ago we heard a message over the intercom system – “We’ve just been told orca have been spotted at 11 o’clock, port side. ” I was napping at the time, but as soon as I heard the announcement I put on a hat and raced outside. Sure enough, the orcas were there, and I managed to get just one picture before they disappeared into the water (above). I’ve seen orcas at water parks before, but the experience is completely different when seeing them in the wild.
The usual scene whenever whale sightings were announced
Throughout the night, I could hear doors slamming shut and large items falling to the ground, but it wasn’t too bad. The drawers in my closet kept opening, and I could hear the hangers in the closet moving from one end to the other.
Standing out on the deck, for as far as the eye could see, it was open water – no turning back now. Continue reading →
One last team photo, just before we left for Antarctica
The time has finally arrived! As the Sea Spirit pushed away from the dock, there was an initial cheering from everyone on the expedition, but then, it was almost as if the weight of knowing what leaving Ushuaia meant hit everyone all at once; there was a moment of silence and reflection. The view from the Beagle Channel was spectacular though. Continue reading →
What an exhilarating morning! Woke up to another beautiful sunrise, and after a quick breakfast, Team Malcolm* was up an out the door for our Martial Glacier hike. Weather conditions were perfect, and although there were a lot of small loose rocks and a steep climb, we all made it to the top without incident. Go team!