Approaching Half Moon Island as a reward for clear skies and smooth sailing. taking first steps on snow and collectively, dreams were finally reality.
The adrenaline and sheer euphoria in this moment was contagious as first penguin sightings, first seal sightings and first iceberg sightings were shared under the setting sun.
AWE. A collective sigh escaped the crowd as the puff of air could be seen in the distance. This was just the beginning to a phenomenal day.
having a smorgasbord of species that amazed with their presence; the minke whale, the orca whale, the humpback whale, the weddell seal and the Gentoo penguin.
During the first kayak, however, it was the landscape that dominated. paddling through the still waters that kissed the edge of Cuverville Island.
It was impossible not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the scenery.
It wasn’t until settling down inside tents for camp out on Danco Island, that the realisation of everything having seen today sank in. This amazing place had captured heart and thoughts.
INSIGNIFICANCE. waking by wind that ripped through the tent. Conditions had changed. Antarctica was no longer the peaceful place remembered from yesterday.
In an instant it had changed and it wanted to show its true power and unforgiving nature. Katabatic winds at the Harbour whipped and beat in an instant before easing again just as quickly.
Glaciers cracked and carved off, breaking into the water and sending waves on shore. Learning quickly that cold can burn. reaching our next shore excursion Antarctica had changed again.
Paradise Harbour lived up to its name and experiencing conditions that were so still, the mountains reflected in the glassy water. As a mere human.
Mother Nature flexed her muscles and taught a harsh lesson of respect for this environment.
PEACE. Initial excitement is gone. No longer photographing every penguin seen. No longer running around with urgency and enthusiasm. The impressive nature of this place is still there.
It is incredible that a place teeming with so much life can be so peaceful and silent. It is easy to slip into a tranquil state and get lost in a moment.
Before knowing it, the curious penguins come before they waddle away, satisfied people mean them no harm.
Sailing into the evening, catching a rare glimpse of the setting sun. The light bounced off the incredibly still and partially frozen water.
A truly spectacular show unravelled where the water mirrored the mountains and the sky. Antarctica was treating us to the most beautiful and tranquil scenery ever witnessed.
GRATEFUL. Some excellent wisdom was shared, prior: “because it scares , do it anyway”.
However, despite feelings during and immediately after the event, one thing was clear, gratefulness was in me having had the experience.
Also appreciative to spend more quality time on the water.
It was humbling to think that thousands of miles from civilisation, kayaking passed rocks, ice and groups of penguins that popped up to the surface for a stickybeak.
Today provided great time to reflect on the journey and to lose in little moments.
LUCKY. In just a few short days, having been gifted with a lifetime of experiences that superseded previous five months of travel this year. Today, got very lucky.
colliding with and walked on sea ice. The timing, conditions and the accommodating staff onboard the Sea Adventurer all aligned to make this experience possible.
Feeling incredibly blessed and lucky especially when hearing that one expedition team member, who has worked for twelve years on this ship, has only experienced this three times.
In many conversations that heard today, this word was repetitively voiced: lucky.
As if needed more proof and yet, during one such conversation at lunch, in that moment, a hunchback near the ship dived down revealing his powerful fluke.
Being lucky with weather, the variety of wildlife sightings, the incredible staff onboard and of course to have experienced this amazing continent first hand.
As the ship heads north the story ends there.