Hello Antarctica, the southernmost continent, fifth largest and my dream it big seventh continent. Yes! Seven continents, my lifetime dream came true. I am blessed, grateful and totally blissed out! Even all these months later. I feel the sparkle may last a long time yet.
Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent. It is a desert and 98% of it covered by ice averaging 1.9 km in thickness. It has no indigenous population and was unsighted until 1820. A true remote and wild beauty.
It is a manifestation of international peace and managed by the Antarctic Treaty signed by 50 countries. As a natural reserve, designated to peace and research, it is vital to help protect the environment. Our wonderful Oceanwide Expeditions expedition team and crew made sure that we adhered to very strict guidelines in order to preserve this remote paradise.
From the first moment that my happy feet touched the Antarctic continent to the last sunset seen from the boat, this journey was BEYOND words! I almost said it was the best experience of my year, yet I have had a year full of highlights (and lowlights, keeping it real!), amongst others the big 5-0. So every experience has its unique place in the spotlight.
Our first stop at Brown Bluff, we were met with some howling katabatic winds, which meant that we couldn’t take off our life jackets, just in case we had to return to the ship in a hurry if the weather changed. Fighting the strong winds blowing the snow into our faces, we managed to spot two Adelie penguins amongst the many Gentoos, plus a Weddell seal in between the Antarctic fur seals. It is impossible for me to put this experience of first stepping onto Antarctica into words. I can’t even try. My happy feet and huge smile say it all!
And then there was that first Antarctic sunset… pink tones and brilliant light… sigh… just breathe in… breathe out… and repeat.
A most surprising zodiac ride near Cuverville Island the next day brought us face-to-face with two Humpback whales who were as inquisitive about us as we were about them. Totally out of this world wow! The photo speaks volumes.
Onto Paradise Harbour, with its mirror reflections, and the Argentine Brown Base, which was already closed for the season. Afterwards zooming through the icebergs to find Crabeater seals chilling on the icebergs was a fun ride.
All this in only two days, and that after The Falklands and South Georgia part 1 / part 2, could this really get any better? Come back next time to find out. There were just too many photo memories to fit into one post (Antarctica part 2).
What would you like to know? I hope to do a post in the new year based on your questions about my experience in Antarctica. Please ask me a question to answer in the comments or pop me an email to delicia (at) soulsister (dot) co (dot) za. What can I share with you?
simply sharing, Delicia