Monday, 5 August 2013

Antarctica: My once in a lifetime

Before you say anything, yes, I know, I've been totally slack in the last few months with writing. I make it to a year of blogging, and then I let things slip...I'm sorry! But trust me, I'm getting in trouble for it, in the nicest possible way. If it's any excuse (and it's not) it's been a full on few months for me. So many exciting things going on, so may changes, and so much to write about...but where to start when there's so many things that have happened in the last 6 months. I guess at the beginning.

If you're a regular reader of mine, you'll know that earlier this year I hopped on a plane, then a boat and sailed to Antarctica with my dad, uncle and a bunch of other adventurous people. As I sit on my couch writing this blog, watching my pictures flip around on my Apple TV screen saver, I get pangs of sadness, because as crazy as it sounds I would do anything to be back down there again, for so many reasons. I've heard people talk about experiences being life changing and laughed, but hand on heart (and as cheesy as it sounds), this was one of those experiences for me.

This was pretty much as much as you saw of my skin for 4 weeks, and sometimes less than that...

I was surrounded on a daily basis by scenery that literally took my breath away. From the animals to the icebergs to the open-ness, I was constantly stuck by the indescribable beauty of the place. The fresh, clean, purity of everything out there. The genuine honestness of the nature we were surrounded by, and the constant presence of the fight for life, out there for everyone to see. The juxtaposition of youth and death side by side wherever you looked. On top of all of this, the unique experience of being stuck on a boat with about 10 strangers for 28 days, with nowhere to escape except for a cabin or overboard, dealing with everyones quirks and personality traits, whether you liked it or not. Plus the type of isolation you never get any more, isolation from all of our technology (email, internet, phone, TV, facebook, twitter, instagram...image not being able to google something to get the answer), our responsibility, jobs. All we needed to do when we woke up each morning was make sure we were dressed properly and our camera batteries were charged.

A few people have asked me what my favourite part was, and I have two answers...The first is the entire experience, because I feel a bit like it can't be divided into parts or sections or moments. When pushed for one specific experience, one particular moment comes to mind...A couple of us had jumped on the dingy to go around the icebergs rather than get off on the island with everyone else. We stopped off at one point on a small pebble beach to take some photo's of birds, and as I stood on the shore looking out I realised how amazing the isolation was. There was no sounds of machinery or technology, just nature and silence. So quiet in fact, that I could hear the snowflakes landing on my jacket and melting.

Anyhow, that's enough of me jabbering on. How about some pictures? Here's a very small selection, my favourites. I'll slowly be adding more photo's to my Flickr account, so make sure you check them out when you have a chance.

Santiago Food Markets

A baby blond fir seal. Much to my surprise, they survive just fine in the wild.

Mother nature showing off her power

King Penguins asleep

From whale skeletons to massive oil drums, evidence of the destruction of our wildlife is evident everywhere here

Dad and a baby fir seal, both as surprised as each other

Albino Chin Strap Penguin feeling a little left out

We were luck enough to see plenty of whales, and we never got sick of them

Tiny little birds that dance on water while they're eating

Me and a crab eater seal (that doesn't eat crabs) on an iceberg. Yes, I walked on an iceberg.

Beautiful lighting

Up close and personal with a seal

You only live when you're in Antarctica make sure you go for a swim. I've never been colder in my life!


  1. Alissa ! This is amazing ! Definitely on my bucket list as well.

    1. Thanks Jess. Do it!!! I think it should be on everyones bucket list. xx

  2. awesome shots. so inspired!!

    1. Thanks Eddie!!! If we can't arrange that trip to longreef after this, we're not doing too well! x

  3. Hi Alissa, I really enjoyed reading the post, and the pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing them. Christina (a work colleague of Prof Breit's)