Antarctica in Pictures: Sunset and Moonrise on the Bransfield Strait

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“Tonight’s activities have been cancelled due to exceptionally good weather”.

I smiled as I heard our expedition leader make this announcement shortly after dinner. Within minutes of stepping out on deck, I had made the decision to boycott the light-hearted games challenge the expedition crew had been planning for the evening. And it seemed I wasn’t alone.

The weather conditions are notoriously unpredictable in Antarctica and we’d already learned not to take the good days for granted.

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As I looked out at the calm open water, it was hard to believe we had just spent three days inside the ship, weathering a violent storm on the Scotia Sea. The sun was beginning to set in a cloud-free sky. Penguins in the water were creating vibrant reflections in the satin-like conditions. And the mood on deck was as bright as the light around us.

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We were sailing along the Bransfield Strait, the 180km wide and 500km long stretch of water that separates the South Shetland Islands from the Antarctic Peninsula. It was leading us to the holy grail of our adventure, the unspoiled and wild continent of Antarctica. And it was teasing us with conditions that felt both magical and unforgettable.

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It was one of those evening’s I didn’t want to end. I watched the sun fall below the horizon alongside the outline of an iceberg in the distance. I watched birds in the sky and penguins in the water. I breathed in the fresh air and drowned in the silence only Antarctica can create.

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I eventually swapped the outside deck for the bar, sharing a drink with other passengers who were riding the high of the change in weather. But it wasn’t long before I was outside again, watching the moonrise over a tabular iceberg in a sky of pastel pink hues.

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I fought off sleep as long as I could, not wanting to break the spell, until I remember that tomorrow we would arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula. And maybe – just maybe – the experience was about to get even better.

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. Allan Seabrook says:

    Hi Kellie,

    I so enjoy your photography and style of writing! During my Antarctic trip many years ago, I wish I’d had the presence of mind you have to capture my thoughts and emotions as well as the impressions shared by others on the ship. The weather was beautiful and, although we didn’t see a huge amount of wildlife or set foot on actual land, the sunsets, upturned icebergs and amazing array of pack ice kept us mesmerized for much of the six week trip.

    Although I did take hundreds of pictures on 35 mm transparency film, most of these were destroyed by a fungus thanks to my stupidity in the way I stored them. And that’s just another reason I love your pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    Allan

    • Thanks Allan. Yes, above and beyond everything else, this blog is my personal travel diary as I like to capture the memories whilst they are still fresh! Whilst the wildlife is incredible, I could easily spend weeks just staring at the landscape in Antarctica, it’s mesmerising.

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