Returning home from the icy south, especially at the tail end of an Antarctic summer, is a play of the imagination. I have an image of the ocean already settling with the winter freeze, the penguin rookeries now empty, whales heading north to temperate latitudes, and summer’s window, which tolerates visitors of the human kind, sliding firmly closed.
Every part of Antarctica’s summer offers unexpected rewards. The key is to drag on the insulating layers and get out in it, regardless of the weather. I took the images below during March and April 2019 voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. It is always tempting to single out photos from ‘best weather’ days, but I’ve resisted. The times when we venture out in wind and snow, when the cold bites and the warmth of the ship feels like heaven to return to, are when I feel most alive.
Tabular bergs break from ice shelves far down in the Weddell Sea and travel north with currents to round the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. ©Robyn Mundy
This katabatic wind sprang to life unannounced in Royal Bay, South Georgia. ©Robyn Mundy
On this same day, the trip from shore back to the ship earned a nod to the skill and fortitude of my expedition team mates. ©Robyn Mundy
I’m a sucker for a spectacular sky. These lenticular clouds at Jason Harbour, South Georgia, demanded a stop in the Zodiac to bring out the camera. ©Robyn Mundy
Salisbury Plain, South Georgia. This colony of king penguins with their brown fluffy chicks is a sight to behold. ©Robyn Mundy
This young humpback shared itself around our Zodiacs and kayaks for over an hour, spyhopping, rolling, diving beneath each boat and extending a flipper. He/she was so attentive to each of us that my colleague Roger later said, ‘It felt rude to leave.’ Cuverville Island, Antarctic Peninsula. ©Robyn Mundy
This season we shared a voyage with dear friends from Perth, WA, who embraced Antarctica and got to experience every kind of weather. Good on you, Katherine & Kev! ©Katherine J.