THE LAST CONTINENT, in real life.

Note: I apologize for the temporary delay in updates!  Many things have been going on, the details of which I will eventually write about.  First, Antarctica must be successfully blogged.  Here we go!

The day had finally come.  Moody grey skies played with wispy blues and purples that slowly rolled and twisted, shifting above the frozen sea.  Icebergs lay perfectly still in the calm morning ocean, reflecting the purple hues of the sky, sheltering bright turquoise underneath their spectacular shapes.  Before us stood the rocky glacial landscape of Brown Bluff, the first part of the true Antarctic continent we had seen.  A colony of Adelie penguins nested on the rocks, their footprints zigzagging across plates of sea ice.

For many people aboard the Sea Spirit, stepping onto Brown Bluff that day marked a fulfillment of the world traveler’s goal, to set foot on all seven continents.  Triumphant shouts of “SEVEN!!!” were heard as the zodiacs coasted onto shore.  Personally, I am unsure whether I have indeed been on all seven continents… does crossing the bridge to the Asian side of Istanbul count?  There is much debate about this, but in any case, it was extremely exciting.  A contest was held to see who could give the most enthusiastic roar upon stepping onto land.  It was hard to believe that we were actually standing in Antarctica!

Some of the most exciting footsteps ever taken!

An Adelie penguin.  So classic!

Verify and her dad looking smashing in their parkas.

With a couple hours to spend, I ventured up a hill made of glacial moraine with Verity, Tom and Josh.  Many geology-related jokes were made, and the Australians were delighted at the opportunity to have a snowball fight with moraine-filled snowballs.  The two Brazilians on the trip even built a penguin out of snow and proceeded to photograph it wearing sunglasses… very cute.  At the top, Verity and I took off a few layers, unveiling our secret plan: an Antarctic photoshoot in dresses!  Even greater than the photos taken was the level of amusement this served to our fellow passengers.  We ended up creating a bit of a scene, and an epic success.

Alex looking explorerly.

Even more awesomeness was in store, however, when we returned to the beach and reunited with Jazdy, also known as Jasmin and Wendy, whom we had also persuaded to dress up with us.  Suddenly the mass of photographers lining the Adelie colony was turning their backs on the penguins to photograph us instead!  Despite being Antarctica, it was summertime, and we stayed warm jumping and dancing around- and got some hilarious and endearing group shots of “the girls”.

It was as if all our dreams had come true. Great weather, penguins, icebergs, mountains, AND fun photos. The best part of the whole landing was our drive in the zodiacs back to the ship, drifting among the icebergs and observing the Adelies on the ice.

Shortly before loading the zodiacs, Georgia got stuck in a trash can.  It was priceless.

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