Christmas in Antarctica
I am not a morning person.
When I heard the churning of the ship’s motor getting louder, I groaned and tried to grasp onto the remaining moments of sleep, hating the location of our cabin. As the offending noise continued, waking me up a little more, I suddenly realized what that noise meant.
It meant the ship was slowing down, preparing to stop. Which meant we had arrived. All the anticipation of planning a trip to Antarctica led to this.
I think Amanda realized it at about the same moment because we looked over at each other, and then jumped out of our beds to look out the tiny circular windows of our cabin. We couldn’t have been happier that they had upgraded us from an inside cabin to an outside one.
The morning sun bounced off the snow and the ocean as we slowly sailed closer. We stared out those windows, unable to stop smiling. This was what we had been waiting for, and we were finally there. Months of anticipation at home, long flights, buses, more than a week on a cruise ship with too many at-sea days, and I was smiling so much my face hurt. It was worth the seasickness we endured while crossing the Drake Passage. We couldn’t wait to check out some of the activities we could do in Antarctica.
Remember when you were a kid, and you woke up on Christmas Day bursting with excitement because you could finally run down to the tree and open your presents? When Christmas was the best day of the year, the only day you didn’t mind getting up ridiculously early?
The day we reached Antarctica was the first time I felt that way since I was probably seven years old. Amanda and I were two little kids impatiently waiting to open our gifts of snow-covered mountains, icebergs, and penguins. Last year, Christmas came in February, and Santa Claus lived at the South Pole.
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Dustin Main | Skinny Backpacker
August 9, 2010 @ 1:49 AM
Awesome! I’m set to set foot on Antarctica in December this year, and your post was just the tease I needed to keep it in the back of my head. 🙂
August 9, 2010 @ 12:38 PM
Dustin, that’s so exciting! It’s gorgeous, you’ll love it! Can’t wait to hear how your trip goes.
August 9, 2010 @ 1:59 AM
Wow! I am sooo jealous! Antarctica… so cool (both literally and metaphorically!). The photos of the penguins are fantastic, and that last one of Paradise Bay is stunning. Definitely need to add this to my list.
August 9, 2010 @ 12:41 PM
Amanda, you really should add it to your list. It’s a pricey trip but well worth it. I don’t think any other trip I’ve taken compares to that one, just knowing where you are is an amazing feeling.
August 9, 2010 @ 2:05 AM
Wow, amazing pictures. That looks like a great trip.
August 9, 2010 @ 12:42 PM
It definitely was! Thanks Andy 🙂
Brendan van Son
August 9, 2010 @ 9:41 AM
Wow, great pictures, it’s definitely on my bucket list!
August 9, 2010 @ 12:45 PM
Thanks Brendan! There are more adventurous trips out there you’d probably enjoy like camping for a night (we wanted to do that but they were booked way ahead of time) kayaking, cross country skiing…
August 9, 2010 @ 11:28 PM
wow! awesome pictures! The closest I got to Antartica was Patagonia but I’d love to visit Antartica sometime soon! Have fun!
August 9, 2010 @ 11:42 PM
Thanks Tanya! Patagonia was pretty, we spent a little time in Ushuaia after the cruise. Really cold and windy for “summer” but pretty!
August 9, 2010 @ 11:12 PM
What an amazing journey! Your pictures are gorgeous. You have definitely enticed me to start thinking about this as a future adventure.
August 9, 2010 @ 11:47 PM
Thanks Caz! It’s definitely a trip worth doing, despite the painful price.
August 11, 2010 @ 12:55 AM
OMG LOVED THIS POST!!!
Visiting Antartica is on my bucket list!!!
1 question: What did Paradise Bay smell like???
August 11, 2010 @ 7:06 AM
Thanks Jaime! Have you ever smelled horse sh*t? Well penguin poo smells worse than that. So surprising coming from such cute animals!
August 11, 2010 @ 8:08 AM
Ali, thank you for engraving these memories!!!
August 11, 2010 @ 10:12 AM
Thanks for being a huge part of those memories! Can’t wait to make more!
August 12, 2010 @ 10:37 PM
I’m half jealous, half excited for you and this extraordinary experience!!! I loooooooove that you were wearing a dress! I would be too. 🙂
What GORGEOUS pics! I hope hope hope I can make it there soon.
August 13, 2010 @ 11:01 AM
Ha! Thanks Andi! This was actually one of those cruises where we had to dress nice for dinner so we were wearing dresses for a more formal night. They announced in the middle of dinner that we were passing Cape Horn so we ran outside in the cold to take pictures. You’ll get around to that trip soon I’m sure. It really is an amazing experience!
August 14, 2010 @ 12:13 PM
Jealous! I was in Punta Arenas this Spring, just a little too late to comfortably head out to Antartica. Maybe next time 🙂
Love the blog, will link to you on my blogroll! Safe travels.
August 14, 2010 @ 7:38 PM
Thanks Sabeena! Punta Arenas was one of our stops on the cruise before heading down to Antarctica. You should read my post titled Shopping the Hyper Way, it’s about our day there, which was strange but fun. You should definitely try to get to Antarctica some other time, totally worth it! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for adding me to your blogroll, I’ll add you on my links page.
August 17, 2010 @ 5:51 PM
I’m so in awe of your trip! I honestly had to wipe my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing things — both over the penguin photos, and the your dresses! I think I would’ve packed all wrong… You girls are my heroes! You’ve done the most amazing trips!
August 18, 2010 @ 12:05 AM
Thanks Abby! They did provide us with a detailed packing list, so that’s why we knew to pack nice clothes. Unfortunately this wasn’t one of those 100 person adventure boats, it was a more typical, but smaller, cruise ship and we did have to dress nice for dinner. But those dresses were for “formal” nights.
September 30, 2010 @ 11:03 PM
Awww… Penguins!! How awesome is this. Antarctica is not so much of “Backpacking” I love so much, but it’s totally worth to see. 🙂 Great!
September 30, 2010 @ 11:18 PM
My friend and I packed carry-on only so we kept saying we were backpacking to Antarctica! HA!
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April 26, 2012 @ 4:00 AM
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