Published: November 19th 2007
November 19th 2007
The beginning for a beginner......
I have just returned from the most amazing and awesome, (proper use not teenage abuse of) trip of my life into Antacrtica and am not sure where to start describing the experience. Currently sitting in a cosy cafe in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern most town in the world. Or as they say here,
the end of the world, the beginning of everything
After a few hitches on the way, like missed connection to Rio in Paris, 5 hours in CDG to sort out, day late in Rio, storms in Rio, late arrival in Ushuaia, I finally boarded the Antarctic Dream and was on my way to Antarctica. I hadn´t thought through the implications of crossing Drake´s Passage as I was so excited to be here. The meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific at Cape Horn couldn´t be anything other than lumpy, and it was for a couple of days it took to cross the 600 miles. When the first iceberg was spotted, a fairly massive tabular one off the Weddel Shelf, all queeziness disappeared and the brilliant blue sky and sun brought about shades of blue not seen in any other land. And with some penguins stuck on top. The birds on the crossing were amazing, petrels gliding a feathers width from the eratic blue waves. Massive albatross, terns both Arctic and Antarctic, that´s what you call long haul. We were blessed with sunny and relatively warm weather, up to 10 degree, this would change dramatically when the wind came up with a chill factor taking it to minus 20 with the snow.
Our first landing was made 3 days into the trip, walking camera in hand and sun on my back, capturing Weddel seals, leopard seal, penguins - Adelie, Chin Strap and Gentoo, brown skuas, sheathbills makes me one of the luckiest folk in the world to experience this here, now.