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Joshua | profile | all galleries >> Antarctic Peninsula tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica? Who is going to Antarctica? This sixth continent has increasingly become a popular target of eco-tourism. Currently, approximately 20,000 people visit this place on an annual basis. The vast majority of the tourists go there during the summer months; the winter is basically reserved for scientists, military base personnel and die-hard documentary reporters/film makers. The most common gateway to the Antarctica is through Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world. The sea in the Drake Passage, where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet, is mostly rough and we had to deal with it for about 36 hours. I took two sea-sickness pills over a 24-hour period and I slept a lot during the passage.

The reward started to materialize when we were approaching the Antarctic Peninsula; the view is truly out of this world. Plus, the sea became less rough, as an added bonus. This place is regarded by many visitors as being one of the most beautiful places on earth. This serenely beautiful place makes you feel like you are visiting another planet. Huge open skies, enormous icebergs, low clouds, and constant surprises from the abundant wildlife will keep you in a constant state of awe. We witnessed two spectacular sunsets during this trip. The colors are so awesome, even long after the sun set. Surreal landscapes and unusually intense colors are the rewards.

These are a few highlights we visited:
Hope Bay, also known as “Iceberg Alley” - As the name says, icebergs were abundant. We could see the fascinating shapes and myriad blues of some extraordinary icebergs.

Lemaire Channel - This narrow channel is flanked by the Antarctic Peninsula on one side and Booth Island on the other. You can see enormous sheer cliffs drop straight into the sea. The mundane nickname of 'Kodak Gap' hints at the nature of the location (it brings out the cameras in force; everybody was trigger happy) without doing it justice.

Paradise Harbor – There are many icebergs that calve off the glacier at the harbor's head, these provide an fascinating infinite variety of shapes and shades of blue. In addition, we landed using zodiacs on the Peninsula, where Gentoo penguins nest and breed.

Half Moon Island – This crescent-shaped island is the location of large colonies of chinstrap penguins.

A little bit of a photographic note: I took two zoom lenses, Canon 24-105mmL IS and Canon 100-400mmL IS, and some prime lenses on this trip. The longer zoom lens did get used more than I anticipated; about 70% of images on this gallery were captured using that lens. I could have left the prime lenses at home. A polarizer filter was used on images taken at Lamaire Channel to increase the contrast between the blue sky and the white clouds/ice.

Thank you for visiting and like always, please feel free to drop a line or two here and if you feel it deserves, vote for it, please.

Rough Sea and Strong Wind
Rough Sea and Strong Wind
Summer Near Shetland Island
Summer Near Shetland Island
Another Summerscape Near Shetland Island
Another Summerscape Near Shetland Island
Jaggedy and Blue
Jaggedy and Blue
Hope Bay or Iceberg Alley
Hope Bay or "Iceberg Alley"
One of Those Blue Icebergs
One of Those Blue Icebergs
Wide Vista of the Iceberg Alley
Wide Vista of the "Iceberg Alley"
Landscape at Gerlache Strait
Landscape at Gerlache Strait
Low Setting Sun at Gerlache Strait
Low Setting Sun at Gerlache Strait
A Lone Ship
A Lone Ship
The First Antarctic Sunset
The First Antarctic Sunset
Unreal Colors!
Unreal Colors!
Antarctic Sound
Antarctic Sound
The Sun Just Peeked
The Sun Just Peeked
Another View of the Antarctic Sound
Another View of the Antarctic Sound
What a Blue Iceberg!
What a Blue Iceberg!
A Wide Vista of the Antarctic Sound
A Wide Vista of the Antarctic Sound
View Like Nowhere Else
View Like Nowhere Else
Approaching Lemaire Channel
Approaching Lemaire Channel
Another Ship Leaving Lemaire Channel
Another Ship Leaving Lemaire Channel
One of the Peaks in the Summer
One of the Peaks in the Summer
Slightly Wider Vista at Lemaire Channel
Slightly Wider Vista at Lemaire Channel
Various Sizes and Shapes
Various Sizes and Shapes
Gorgeous View at Lemaire Channel
Gorgeous View at Lemaire Channel
Vista and Reflection at Lemaire Channel
Vista and Reflection at Lemaire Channel
Penguine Chick and Mom
Penguine Chick and Mom
Feed Me! Feed Me, Please!
Feed Me! Feed Me, Please!
Munch Time
Munch Time
Making Sure You Get Your Bearing Straight
Making Sure You Get Your Bearing Straight
What Is That Big White Thing?
What Is That Big White Thing?
Sleeping Penguins Chicks
Sleeping Penguins Chicks
Invasion of the Red Parkas
Invasion of the Red Parkas
Take Me With You, Please!
Take Me With You, Please!
The Discovery
The "Discovery"
Pardise Harbor
Pardise Harbor
Gonzales Fidela Station
Gonzales Fidela Station
The Second Antarctic Sunset
The Second Antarctic Sunset
Colorful Lightplay at Sunset
Colorful Lightplay at Sunset
Seemingly Blue Ice Cover
Seemingly Blue Ice Cover
After the Sun Has Set
After the Sun Has Set
Relic of the Whaling Period?
Relic of the Whaling Period?
Not Their Favorite Food
Not Their Favorite Food
Rocky Half Moon Island
Rocky Half Moon Island
Rock Hopper
Rock Hopper
This Chick Didn't Make It...
This Chick Didn't Make It...
Nothing but Rocks and Penguins
Nothing but Rocks and Penguins
Penguins Conversation
Penguins Conversation
Penguins Conversation 2
Penguins Conversation 2