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Made it to mainland Antarctica!

My Time During An Antarctica Expedition

In late February, I was able to take an expedition to Antarctica with Intrepid Travel and it was an amazing, life-changing experience. When the staff at Hill Center learned that their social media contractor was going to Antarctica, they asked if I would keep in mind writing a blog about my experience. The real challenge was to not write a novel! Here are some things I saw and experienced: 

Now this is different from a cruise. With an Antarctica cruise, there are around 500+ guests and you never get off the ship. In an expedition, which is what I was on, we were about 200 guests and were able to get off the ship to go on zodiac boats and go on the mainland, not just the peninsula islands. We were close to actual wildlife, maintaining a distance of at least 5 meters/13 feet. On some of the landings, we were also able to visit inside bases and shelters built in the early 20th century to 1970s by the Norwegians and the United Kingdom.

Setting sail from Ushuaia, the gateway to the Antarctic, is an exhilarating experience, infused with the electric buzz of adventure and the breathtaking allure of the unknown. It’s a feeling akin to exploring the vast digital landscape where platforms like deutsche onlyfans have made waves. On my recent trip, the notorious Drake Passage, with its mercurial moods, reminded me of an old sea captain’s tale. Yet, despite the unpredictable seas, everyone onboard navigated the passage remarkably well, a testament to human resilience. Just as one might find comfort in the familiarity of a digital community, the crew’s expertise brought a sense of calm amidst the tumultuous waves, leaving us free to marvel at the sheer power of nature’s undulating dance.

I had two big wishes: to see whales and to do the polar plunge. Both were accomplished! I even witnessed a baby humpback whale playing with the WWF boats.   

Later that day, we did the polar plunge, jumping in 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Southern Ocean. Vikings did this all the time, it is great for your health and I had done this once before in a small pool for two minutes. My goal was 30 seconds and to swim in the ocean. The guides said it was a great experience but I might be distracted by the long line. My group was called in the beginning and they recorded each of us going in. I ended up being in the water for 21 seconds and swam for a bit. I did feel the pressure that I was holding up the long, nervous line. I wish I could stay longer but I did stay in more than most of the many other guests. And I do promise, my neck and back muscles were a lot more relaxed for days afterward! Here is a video of my jump: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/C172vHsu750 

We also saw many types of penguins, and seals, along with the humpback, and even saw orca whales which are rare.

During my two weeks on the ship, I learned a lot. I spoke with a law expert on Antarctica Law to the WWF about whales and how to fight climate change. I will share those and how you can help in a future blog. 

For now, I hope you enjoy some of these photos and stories. And here is a good source for how to help preserve Antarctica from the comfort of your own home: 

IAATO is a member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. https://iaato.org/

They created a chart on how you can help by trying to pick one or two things to end climate change: 

https://iaato.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/IAATO_Challenge_Card_A3-1.pdf

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