In Pictures: Spert Island, Antarctica – A Dramatic Outdoor Iceberg Gallery

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Towering rock arches, canyon like surroundings, a network of waterways and grounded icebergs: this is Spert Island and a dramatic introduction to the Antarctic Peninsula.

A travel expedition to Antarctica is full of milestones and memorable “first” moments: the first zodiac cruise, the first landing, the first penguin sighting, the first rough day at sea, the first iceberg, the first fluke of a whale’s tail, the list goes on.

But there is no moment more symbolic, rewarding and unforgettable than arriving in the Antarctic Peninsula.

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It was hard to believe we’d been at sea for a little over two weeks when I first set eyes on Antarctica – it felt so much longer. We’d already endured two strong storms, enjoyed landings in the Falkland Islands, been overwhelmed by the quantity of wildlife in South Georgia, encountered the first leopard seal of the trip near Elephant Island and had a Christmas Day feast of Falkland Island reindeer.

I hadn’t given any thought to the outside world since turning my phone off in Ushuaia. I had already filled a number of camera memory cards. And I felt overwhelmed by a sensory overload that increased with each new sighting and excursion.

It had already been an incredible expedition and it wasn’t over yet.

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Our first excursion in the peninsula was near Spert Island, located off the west coast of Trinity Island in the Palmer Archipelago and chartered by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition in 1902.

 

From the ship, large rock formations blended into the surrounding landscape, a picturesque and surreal environment. But as we crept closer in zodiacs, narrow waterways were revealed, providing access to a hidden network of grounded icebergs, towering archways and maze-like water.

It provided a dramatically different vantage point as we navigated through what felt like an outdoor iceberg gallery. Other zodiacs created a sense of scale, cape petrels nesting high in the rock arches provided the soundtrack and chinstrap penguins added to the iconic scene around us.

It was the perfect introduction to the wild and unspoiled environment – and a sign of things to come.

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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. Love these posts about Antarctica. Its been a dream of mine to go there ever since I read “Troubling a Star” by Madeleine L’engle. Your pictures are beautiful.

    I have a question though, you mention storms during your posts and I know you’ve done Antarctica a few times, have you ever felt unsafe being at sea for that long?

    • Hi Erin. No, I’ve honestly never felt unsafe. The ship crew and expedition staff are very experienced and professional and what is a “storm” to us is often “business as usual” to them. Having said that, I’m often aware of how remote we are – for example, on my first trip, a lady broke her ankle on one of the landings and that was pretty much it for the rest of her trip, she was ship-bound for the rest of the trip.

      So no – I’ve never felt unsafe, but I do feel remote and if you suffer from sea-sickness you may have some uncomfortable days.

      • Allan Seabrook says:

        Hi Erin,

        Speaking safety, one would also think that the ship ploughing through pack ice would also be an unsettling experience and yet, for me, it wasn’t. There’s something grounding about the grinding sounds and the bumping, not to mention the sheer beauty of the pack passing slowly on either side of the ship.

        Go out there and be stunned!

        Allan

  2. Erin,

    If you get the opportunity then do it. It is the most stunning place and something to be done in this lifetime. The crews are so professional and no risks are taken.

    Kellie,

    As usual the images are stunning. I am still editing the 10,000 from my journey just before yours. I will be looking forward to more posts. It is always exciting when I get the email saying you have added another post. Keep up the great work.

    Cheers Carol

    • Allan Seabrook says:

      Hi Carol,

      Ten thousand images? Wow! Do you also have a website showcasing your photography? I would love to visit.

      Thanks!
      Allan

  3. These photos are incredible! The penguin and leopard seal encounters must have been beyond exciting. This is a true example of what adventure is all about!

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