Joining the Penguins
Bottom line: We humans are hard-wired to explore, rivaling the curiosity of felines. (Better yet, we can do more with what we discover because we have thumbs.)
Using my thumb as Janet and I explore a tiny portion of Antarctica.
As a boy I never thought I'd visit the places I've been in my lifetime, certainly not Antarctica! I worked to keep mt expectations within reason, according to my thinking. A trip here, a trip there added up . . . and then I found myself in Antarctica. Though some might call it "a dream of a life time," I'll keep truckin' as long as I'm capable. Forward thinking, that's the orientation to develop.
My wife, Janet, and I have enjoyed traveling the world together and over the years have taken a number of cruises.
I'd nurtured the dream of a trip to Antarctica for a few years and though a splurge, when we discussed travel to the southern continent, we decided to "go for it." We chose Hurtigruten (Norwegian) for this cruise over the Christmas/New Year holidays '18-'19 and haven't regretted that decision.
Our ship's captain navigated us around the worst of approaching bad weather on our two crossings of the Drake Passage, considered the most dangerous waters in the world. Then, we toured a portion of the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Using "zodiac boats," staff transported us to and from our island visits and for close-up inspections of ice formations and animal activity, such as feeding whales. We toured research stations. We visited several Adelie Penguin colonies, during their hatching/fledgling season, where we enjoyed close encounters . . . if the penguins so chose.
They weren't disturbed by our presence.
Roughly, the Antarctic Circle became our southern most latitude.
At times I looked at the stark horizon of ice and mountains and longed to trek to the pole, to go and be where Amundsen, Shackleton, Scott and Ross had gone, and where only a few of all humanity has ever been.
The best part of travel for me is witnessing the wonders of the world firsthand, meeting different people, learning about other cultures, and most of all experiencing my shared humanity and living existence . . . as an earthling.
Photo Credit: Connard Hogan