Antarctica: Magnificent, Majestic, Awe-Inspiring

Mone Petsod

21 Dec 2017

NWS Client MONE explores the antarctic peninsula

NWS Client MONE explores the antarctic peninsula

The most amazing panorama under the clearest blue sky and crisp air greeted us unexpectedly after two days and three nights on the most turbulent passage ever experienced. 

  

No amount of hearsay or time spent watching documentaries had prepared me for the splendour that surrounded me. Intense emotions infused me and intensified day after day.  As I sat on top of a hill trying to absorb this three dimensional vista, or zoomed into the deep blue sea on the zodiac, or cruised gingerly among icebergs and ice floes, I thought the two full days and three full nights of absolute misery while crossing the Drake Passage were totally worthwhile. Why oh why have I seen only billowing snow or dark, foreboding sky in those documentaries? With those images imprinted in my mind, I thought snow storms were constantly present in Antarctica. Because of this perception, I had no expectation from this epic journey that I had dreamed of all my life other than seeing penguins in their natural habitat.

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Oh, yes, penguins. Another surprise. I had not expected to see penguins the very first day we reached Antarctica. We continued to see them every single day afterwards. Neither had I expected to see such a vast number of them; gentoos, chinstraps, adélies, colony after colony after colony.



They were on the rocks, on the snow, on the ice shelves, on the icebergs, on the ice floes, on the hilltops, in the water, waddling, preening, hopping up, hopping down, braying like donkeys,  zooming like torpedoes in the water, springing up from water, flopping on their belly, crouching on their nest, hemming and hawing then launching themselves into the sea. It was a perpetual fascination. But it was heart wrenching nonetheless to watch them trudge valiantly in blowing snow. I was in Antarctica for only 10 days. Its ever changing weather took a heavy toll on me. By the 5th day, I was totally exhausted, while the penguins have been fighting this weather forever. 

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No other travels have caused me so much misery like the passage to Antarctica. But no other place on earth has lifted my spirit so high like this seventh continent. Antarctica is the ultimate of all journeys that anyone should experience in this lifetime. 


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