Me in Antarctica. Picture by Bruce Hampton

There are no words to describe the feelings that rose up when I stepped onto Antarctica. It was so vast, so unforgiving, so formidable that I was reduced to silence.

My first view of mountains of black rock stunned me. Huge, ice covered, monoliths outlining an equally black ocean.



We were less than 100 people in an immense landscape where seals, whales and penguins were at home.  We were sojourners, passing through, attempting to understand their lives and their message.

From the time that we boarded the Island Sky, we were mostly beyond electronic communication. There are no cell towers in Antarctica. Satellite connection was rare. We were reduced to talking to each other.

By day two, I was glad that I was isolated from the rest of the world. No news, no crisis, no distractions, no one to interrupt the harsh but peaceful world we were observing.

Wrapped in our parkas, mittens, boots, hats and scarves, bundled like Randy in “A Christmas Story”, we found something we had not expected.



Freedom to concentrate on an area of the world that few have the privilege (or luck) to view in person.

Freedom to see and appreciate forms of life that, up until then, we thought of as “cute” or “exotic” or “strange”.

Freedom to see and absorb unbelievable beauty of stark panoramas.

Freedom to look inside and realize that your presence on this earth was severely reduced in the midst of such wonder.

The picture taken by Bruce Hampton at the beginning of this piece was originally named “bluebird”. It is now called “Freedom”.


Categories: Antarctica, beauty, expeditions, Uncategorized, WhalesTags: , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Those photos are awesome. What an amazing experience. How did it change you?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to go…Thanks for the beautiful story and pictures, Gael.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is what started this blog. Go back to my first post in January-“Off to Buenos Aires” You will see the difference as you progress. Mainly, it made me more aware of my own thoughts, of how I communicate. Then the whole tartan thing started and has taken on a life of its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lee, it is an amazing journey! Go back to the start of my blog “Off to Buenos Aires”. Follow the trip. You can see my writing change and my “creative” side start its journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The expedition that I took was on the expensive side. I only had to pay for air fare. But it would have been worth every penny if I had to pay the full amount. I went on Zegrahm’s and love their experts. If you seriously are thinking of going make sure you go on a small boat (100 passengers or less). You get to go more places and the experience is more intimate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Gael. I just saved your comment. Who knows what the future will hold?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope it holds many adventures for you. Thank you for reading my earlier posts. I makes me happy. I have gone back and read them. I don’t know if I conveyed the feelings but I sure tried! Keep writing. I love your stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You make me feel as if I’ve been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are making me cry. I did it right! (The writing was right)! Thank you!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! The whole experience was amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad to now have the story behind the photo. What an adventure. Thank you for sharing it with the world. Most of us will never get to experience what you had; your sharing brings us a bit closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for letting me travel with you! I want to let you know that I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. There is no obligation to participate. This is my way of saying thank you for your awesome blog! You’ll find all the details here:
    All the best, Michèle 🦋


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