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The Ice: Christmas in Antarctica

December 31, 2022

Back when I was working as a geologist in Australia (um, well over two decades ago) I had a colleague who was working in Antarctica – which he always referred to as “The Ice.”

Well, now I am getting to know this spectacular wilderness too, and building up my time on or near The Ice. I have just finished a month working for Lindblad Expeditions, as an expedition guide and naturalist/lecturer: our route had us first in Patagonia, and then down in Antarctica.

Here are a few pix from our last week at The Ice, all from Christmas week, uploaded as I travel home (currently in Santiago de Chile). Hopefully I will find the time to put up a few more posts (and videos) once I get home!

This is how we spent Christmas eve day – landing everyone on this ice floe (not all at once!). Once all guests were back on the ship, our expedition team had our Christmas staff photo taken while as the captain nudged the ship stunningly close up to our hunk of ice. Much closer than it appears in this photo! (Taken by my colleague Sue Forbes).
So many cool icebergs… it felt like we were just permanently passing through a sculpture gallery.

A highlight of our Antarctic voyage was, as our Captain Martin Graser explained to us, making history – by traversing narrow and spectacular LeMaire Channel alongside our sister ship, the National Geographic Endurance.

Zodiac cruising in Wilhelmina Bay, with humpback whales around. Yes, we were (mostly) extremely fortunate with the weather!
So many cool icebergs… it felt like we were permanently passing through a sculpture gallery.
Lots of grounded icebergs around Port Charcot – big ones! – a totally fun zodiac cruise, checking them all out. (Thanks for the photo, Martin).
Our ship, the National Geographic Resolution, is capable of getting very close to shore. Here we are in Neko Harbour – it was barely necessary to launch the zodiacs!
Antarctic landscape/seascape panoramic under a moody overcast sky.
A colony of gentoo penguins, which we hiked up to over the snow from NG Resolution, at Neko Harbour, with one of the very active and crevassed glaciers behind.
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