Antarctica Sunrise

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

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Four minutes later on the starboard side of the bow watching the calm waters

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An ice floe drifts by with the rugged Antarctica landscape in the background - mouseover to see penguins

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Red Glow on the horizon at 3:49AM

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We slowly pass through the Antarctica waters and too many icebergs to count

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3:57AM - The sky lightens up very slowly at extreme Latitudes

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Argentine Esperanza Base (birthplace of first person born (1978) in Antarctica!) - mouseover image to see buildings

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4:11AM - A lone penguin on this ice floe was also watching the sunrise - mouseover image to see close-up

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A slightly darker exposure a minute later - the colors were amazing

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4:26AM - The blue colors of the icebergs were also incredible

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A bird flies by at 4:31AM - four minutes before sunrise

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Wide-angle view just before sunrise - mouseover image to see eight minutes later

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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

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4:52AM - a few people have shown up by now, but they missed most of the show

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Stitched panorama of the Antarctic sunrise from the Ocean Nova - click here to see larger version

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5:03AM - Early morning light on nearby Antarctic mountains

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Yours truly squeezing off a few last shots

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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.

Return to Antarctic Cruise.