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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog

Why am I going to Antarctica?

Since i've booked my trip to Antarctica I have been constantly bombarded with a variation of the same question: "Why do you want to go there?" Together with "Are you mental?", "Is that the north pole?", "It will be cold you know", and "Will you see polar bears?"...... My usual response has been "Because I want to" as no one really cares why I want to go, or wants to listen to me drone on either. So.... For anyone who actually cares, or anyone who is thinking about going to the 7th continent, let me share with you why I am going - Hopefully this will give you a little insight, and maybe inspire you to book that trip of a lifetime!

Clearing the confusion - What is Antarctica all about?

It's surprising how little people know about Antarctica - I say that, but why would anyone learn about it unless their interested in Nature, Wildlife or booking a tour? Below are some facts about the white continent:

  • Located in the Southern Hemisphere and contains the South Pole.
  • There are no permanent residents, just seasonal residents at research bases.
  • Penguins - South Pole, Polar Bears - North Pole.
  • Eight countries have a claimed territory in Antarctica.
  • 98% of the continent is covered by the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
  • Wildlife includes Penguins, Snow Petrel, Fur Seals and Orcas.
  • Cruise ships are the most common method of visiting Antarctica.
  • 24 hours of daylight during the Antarctic summer.

So why go there?

For me it is all about the wilderness, the isolation, the vastness of the continent, the breathtaking scenery; it's fascinating, I can't think of any single destination that I have been so enthralled with.

I can picture now sailing across the wildly turbulent waters of Drakes Passage in a boat equipped with a reinforced ice-breaker hull; waves smashing against the vessel with extreme force, gale force winds howling, rain and spray pelting the windows and roof. As the boat approaches the Antarctic Peninsula, I start to see glimpses of towering ice-bergs, I can sense that we are drawing near. I would imagine that my excitement will be now at near breaking point - Soon I will be setting foot on a place where only a small percentage of humans will go, an unconquerable land full of extremes.

Antarctica, the end of the earth, the last true wilderness; I can't even begin to describe my true feelings towards this place, and I havn't even been yet, so I'll try and sum it up in the points below:

  • It's a place where few people have been.
  • I will hopefully see Penguins, Seals and Whales in their natural habitat.
  • Its like nowhere else on the earth.
  • Seeing beautiful landscapes filled with ice and snow.
  • Crossing the turbulent Drakes Passage.
  • Experiencing the feeling of true isolation.
  • The thrill of sailing past huge Ice-bergs in tiny Zodiac boats.
  • The chance to take some amazing photographs (ego!!).
  • Feeling like an explorer going into uncharted lands.

Everyone has told me it will be the trip of a lifetime - I just hope with every part of my body that it turns out to be! November please hurry up and arrive!

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What is Aim Focus Shoot? My travel blog! Aside from travel reviews I also maintain a regular blog with different travel & photography articles such as photo essays and memorable moments.

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