Antarctica

Best. Trip. EVAH!

Antarctica, the White Continent. A cruise to Antarctica from the Argentinean port of Ushuaia in December 2007. Words cannot do this any justice. These photos may help.

The fantastic wildlife and scenery. The friends that I made. The fun that we had. All this combined to make this trip that little extra special. This was another planet. I was devastated to leave! Best. Trip. EVAH!
Bird on "H" Island  A bird on "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Plant on "H" Island  A close-up of a plant on the surprising foliage-rich "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Sea life on "H" Island  A close-up of washed-up sea life (the remains of a sea urchin?) on "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Kelp on "H" Island  A close-up of washed-up kelp on "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007.
Yellow Flowers on "H" Island  Yellow flowers on the foliage-rich "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Cormorant on "H" Island  A cormorant on "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Actually, I don't know the difference between shags and cormorants so this could just as easily be a Rock Shag!  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Bird on "H" Island  A bird of prey on "H" Island in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  I had hired the boat "Tres Marias" from Ushuaia exploring parts of the Beagle Channel including a hike on "H" Island. I was accompanied by biology students, graduates and lecturers from a university in Michigan. They were also going to Antarctica (on a different ship though) and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  This is my second visit to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel as I was here before in 2006 when I went travelling around the Atacama Desert and Patagonia.  Photo taken in December 2007. Fungus  Fungus (used as food by the original inhabitants) in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.  Photo taken in December 2007.
Rock Formation  Rock Formation in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.  Photo taken in December 2007. White Bird  White bird in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.  Photo taken in December 2007. Berries  Red berries in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.  Photo taken in December 2007. Moon over Ushuaia  Moon taken from our Antarctic cruise ship in Ushuaia, Argentina.  Photo taken in December 2007.
Fog Bow  A fog bow somewhere in the Drake Passage crossing the Antarctic Convergence.  Photo taken in December 2007. Penguins in Queue  Chinstrap penguins, Antarctica.  Photo taken in December 2007. Mountains and Snow  Mountain scenery, Antarctica.  Photo taken in December 2007. Snowman building  Our close-knit, fun-loving and crazy zodiac group making a snowman, Antarctica.  Photo taken in December 2007.
Raldi and Snowman  Raldi (a member of our close-knit, fun-loving and crazy zodiac group) with the snowman that we built. Actually, you can see that our snowman has morphed into a snowwoman. Not sure what that other character is...a snow-penguin?  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Penguins  Two chinstrap penguins.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Chinstrap Penguin  Chinstrap penguin.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Formations  Strange snow formations.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Breaking the Ice  An ice-barrier blocked us entry to Deception Island, but our Russian captain rammed the ice a few times with his ship and we managed to cleave our way through.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Hole in Snow  A hole in some chunks of ice.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Wooden Ruins  Wooden ruins on Deception Island.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Old Boat  Old boat on Deception Island. The remains of the old whaling station.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Disused boilers  Disused boilers from an abandoned whaling station on Deception Island, Antarctica. Photo taken in December 2007. Old Hut  Old hut on Deception Island.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Iceberg  Iceberg.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Gentoo Penguin  Close-up of a gentoo penguin.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Matharu Wideangle  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Blue Iceberg  The rich blue inside an iceberg.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Tall Glacier  A tall glacier.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Chinstrap Penguin  A close-up of a chinstrap penguin.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Zodiac and Icebergs  A zodiac cruising past icebergs.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Matharu and Water  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Angled Iceberg  Iceberg!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Iceberg Couple  Two icebergs.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Matharu at Door  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Iceberg and Sky  Another iceberg.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Skua Attack  A skua approaching, hoping to get some food. Imagine a penguin chick seeing this thing diving in!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Iceberg and Sky  Another iceberg. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Reflections  Mountains reflected in the water.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Late evening  Late evening, almost midnight, but the sun was still above the horizon (just!). Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountaintop Snow  A huge build-up of snow and ice on top of a mountain. It would be crazy watching that calve!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountain and Cloud  Mountains, clouds and water, Antarctica, 2007. Bay in Antarctica  Bay in Antarctica, 2007. Mountain range  A mountain range in Antarctica. Photo thaken in December 2007. Lots of blue  Lots of blue. Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountains and Snow  Snow amd mountains. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Bay in Antarctica  Bay in Antarctica. Photo taken in 2007. Footwear for the Antarctic  In our zodiac, these are the ship-supplied footwear that we had to wear when going ashore or going for a zodiac ride. When embarking or disembarking the ship, it was mandatory to walk through a chemical-dip (with a scrub too!) with these boots to limit the risks of spreading harmful or alien species. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Ship  Another ship passing ours in one of the channels just off Antarctica. It was good to see others and we all waved to each other!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountains and Snow  Snow on the mountaintops, with a layer of clouds below us.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Mountains, snow and clouds make for some dramatic scenery in the Antarctic.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Snow and sea  Snow, sea and ice. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Gentoo and Water  A gentoo penguin.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Matharu Wrapped Up  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu, all wrapped-up warm. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Jason  Photo of Jason, a member of our close-knit, fun-loving and crazy zodiac group. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Matharu and Mountaintop  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu, on top of a mountain. Actually, I think calling it a mountain might be a bit of an exaggeration. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Michelle  Photo of Michelle, a member of our close-knit, fun-loving and crazy zodiac group. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Large Icebergs  Large icebergs. It was snowing now so the zodiac cruise was interesting. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Iceberg Formations  A close-up of an iceberg from a zodiac whilst it was snowing. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Iceberg Formations  Iceberg formations. It was snowing at the time. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Cold  Heavy snow. It's cold here!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Blizzard  Blizzard.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. The White Continent  The "White Continent" is called that for a reason!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Matharu in Yellow  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Gentoo Nest Building  A gentoo penguin with a stone that the birds use for building nests in their rookeries.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Zodiac and Iceberg  One of our zodiacs going passed an iceberg.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Mountains and snow.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Zodiac  One of our zodiacs...snowing and a bit choppy. Time to wrap up warm!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Cormorants  A pair of nesting cormorants with chick. Actually, I don't know the difference (if any!) between shags and cormorants so these could just as easily be Antarctic shags (specifically blue eyed shags)!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountains and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Photography in Antarctica!  Our photos being taken! Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Mountains and snow.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Humpback Tail  A group of at least 7 humpback whales surrounded our ship. Here's one of them!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Mountain Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Zodiac fun!  Having some fun with another zodiac crew. Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Jannika  Photo of Jannika, a member of our close-knit, fun-loving and crazy zodiac group.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Painted Petrels  A pair of painted petrels. They seemed to fly in groups around our ship.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Southern Giant Petrel  A southern giant petrel...at least I think it is (until this trip I wasn't really interested in birds so my bird identification skills are a bit lacking)! Huge bird.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Black Browed Albatross  A black browed albatross. Again, I think that what is is! Until this trip I wasn't really interested in birds so my bird identification skills are a bit lacking!  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007. Mountain and Snow  Dramatic scenery.  Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.
Matharu on ship  A photo of me, Kulvinder Singh Matharu. onboard our Russian ship, probably in the bar! Photo taken in Antarctica, December 2007.