I wasn't one of the early risers, but this morning I woke up O-dark-30 ...
boy, was I happy about that!
After three days of
cruising on the Scotia Sea and 50+ Knot winds the night before, the Ocean Nova was
slowly approaching the Antarctic Peninsula in calm waters.
After a quick bridge stop, I went outside on the Bow ... and
was the only person there! It was very cool in the pre-dawn light
as I would often hear the penguins & birds before seeing them on the
passing icebergs. I was by myself for about an hour as the glow on
horizon slowly brightened - an incredibly surreal experience.
Approaching Antarctica at 3:32AM - 63 minutes before a glorious sunrise at 4:35AM
Four minutes later on the starboard side of the bow watching the calm waters
An ice floe drifts by with the rugged Antarctica landscape in the background - mouseover to see penguins
Red Glow on the horizon at 3:49AM
We slowly pass through the Antarctica waters and too many icebergs to count
3:57AM - The sky lightens up very slowly at extreme Latitudes
Argentine Esperanza Base (birthplace of first person born (1978) in Antarctica!) - mouseover image to see buildings
4:11AM - A lone penguin on this ice floe was also watching the sunrise - mouseover image to see close-up
A slightly darker exposure a minute later - the colors were amazing
4:26AM - The blue colors of the icebergs were also incredible
A bird flies by at 4:31AM - four minutes before sunrise
Wide-angle view just before sunrise - mouseover image to see eight minutes later
Iceberg drifts by as the sun rises in Antarctica
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The sky starts to really lighten up at 4:41AM - six minutes after sunrise
4:52AM - a few people have shown up by now, but they missed most of the show
5:03AM - Early morning light on nearby Antarctic mountains
Yours truly squeezing off a few last shots
While there were countless amazing and unique things on this trip, this was probably the high point for me.
Being all by myself for an hour as the ship quietly idled by icebergs & animals as
the sun rose over my first sight of Antarctica was a incredibly surreal experience.
Shortly after this, it was time for our first landing on the
7th continent (actually #6 for me - haven't been to Australia)
with a 5:30AM zodiac run to Brown Bluff, Antarctica.