Happy Feat - AntarcticaIssue: Section:
Total solitude, the real end of the world. I'd fantasized about coming to Antarctica for a long time - since I came to Ushuaia, Argentina 14 years ago, the most southerly town in the world. But the 3 days sailing across the roughest seas in the world had put me off.... so when a great friend I rarely see said she was going on an expedition there I jumped at the chance. Though she was going with 50 other people from around the world on a 200K race as part of the Race The Planet ultramarathon. Not quite what I had in mind, but what better way to experience the journey with such an adventurous and passionate crowd. The sail over was long, but we survived and emerged to stunning sunshine and pristine wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Peninsula is the nearest and most temperate part of the continent but also one of the prettiest, filled with mountainous islands, vast glaciers and stunning harbors, with icebergs of every size and shape scattered throughout the waters. Some as curious sculpted shapes of blue, turquoise and white, listing and bubbling away, others huge, cathedral like and terrifying, or a floating raft sheet for lone penguins to sail away down the channel to the sea. The weather could shift dramatically, but the landscape was always mesmerizing whether shot with bright sunshine or cloaked with layers of cloud or an oncoming storm and the colors, the blues, greys and purples, yellows, intense and dramatic, painted differently with the changing light. The great white continent is actually a very colorful place... Moving into summer there's little darkness, which made for long magical evenings with sunsets which went on for hours and weird erie twilight midnights that made you want to stay up all night, but then not want to miss the morning. Such an inspiring and peaceful feeling to be sailing through the crystal clear dark blue waters, surrounded everywhere by the magnificence of the ice in a place so utterly untouched, being cut off from civilization in every way. Awesome in the truest sense.