Ice and Snow

penguins on small ice patchWe arrived at the South Shetland Peninsula, more specifically, Half Moon Island.  I did wake up to see from our balcony to see this snow covered sheet of ice on the protected inlet — or should i say thousands of floating pieces of ice.  Best of all, I could see one of these ice rafts with a bunch of penguins randomly walking on it.

We dropped anchor in a protected bay – albeit a large bay at around 10 am.  Got into our group of about 10 people and then loaded on the zodiac to an island, I think it was called Half Moon Island.  So we hiked about 4 miles around the island with some very steep snow covered hills.  Some people slid on their bottoms to go down the snow since it was also real slippery.  A little unnerving.

The kicker was at the end of our small trek, we saw thousands of Chin Strapped penguins.  They are interesting.  Lots of Penguins over icemovement in which it seems they have a mission.  Shot a ton of pictures.

I will add that I do apologize.  Their is no way to capture the size and scope of these snow capped areas and present them in a single picture.  Impossible to share the vastness of snow and ice.  Antarctica is not about money or anything material — it is about sharing the splendors of this great world — especially when its so untouched.  No more than 20,000 people on earth visit this last continent.  Probably because it’s an investment in time and money to get there.  Also, it’s an exploration type destination which likely is not for everyone.

broken Ice fieldLet me first say, I am not a very good environmentalist – I rate myself 4 out of 10.  But when you travel to remote and untouched areas of earth, you get the idea that we should care about all things bad in terms of CO2, polluted waters and any bending the natural future.   I only prey that Obama does not impose his anti-business regulations and haters of business to achieve their wacky-mission.  Their is no contesting or valid argument to disprove global warming.  Its fact and trending in the wrong direction.  We of course need balance when un-raveling the mess we have made from past generations.  Every thing in moderation, of course.  Balance and moderate for benefit of society and hard working businesses and business people who employ millions.  But I will say, that Antarctica has no pollution, no garbage, no human to screw it up — not yet anyway.

With all that said, I will restate that coming to secluded mountains, glacier, iceberg and a healthy life ecosystem of Antarctica, we glacier 1aneed  to ensure we always have this ultimate untouched earth.

Anyway, when coming to places like Antarctica, it’s really about viewing something extraordinary.  Issue is that your on the ship for long periods because size and distances to favorable destinations are massive.  Also, dodging icebergs is interesting.  Lots of zig-zag to get to destination — like real radical hard turns from this big ship.  The captain is constantly angling the boat aggressively.  I even feel it now.  At least 30 percent of guess are sea sick — maybe more, but the other 70 percent are curious people who get up to enjoy the surroundings.

Our exploration vessel is a mix of comforts, but also a reality that the Lindblad is the anti-cruise ship.  No deserts laid out all day and night.  No slides or huge junket selling guests.  People on this trip love to see what so few get to experience — Untouched nature.  No television and limited internet as you can well imagine.  We are way down south off the grid.

National Geographic is for people who want to really understand the nature around us — as it pertains to Antartica.  They bring in guest speakers about all nature disciplines.  Tons of photographer from NatGeo and WWF.  We also had a very basic season about hump-back whales from a Phd who specializes on this mammals.  Lots of schooling abut things that relate to our journey — shared with over 20 experts of this region.

Phil, enough, you’re killing me.  Ok, moving on.


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