In January of 2014, I embarked on an Antarctic adventure as an instructor for a photographic workshop. The tour started in Punta Arenas, Chile, and from there we flew to a remote airfield in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. Flying over the Drake Passage, rather than crossing by ship, saves time and avoids the frequently rough seas of the Drake. After landing, all gear and passengers were shuttled by Zodiac to our small cruise ship, the Ocean Nova. Once settled on board, we sailed south towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
During the next five days, our routine focused entirely on finding the best photographic opportunities. Our wake up call was for pre-dawn light, which meant 3:30am journeys through channels of soaring peaks and glaciers descending down mountainsides to the sea. When arriving at a particularly photogenic bay, we boarded our Zodiacs to explore the endless variety of icebergs and witness the abundant wildlife – humpbacks whales, seals, seabirds and penguins.
Our mid-day hours included landings to visit penguin colonies, a highlight for any Antarctica visitor. Our strict and informative ...