Paradise Harbour Antarctica was named by whalers because it is such a protected anchorage. We made a continent landing at the nearby Argentinean station of Almirante Brown but prior to the landing, we did an amazing glacier cruise via our Zodiacs. The weather cooperated to help create some stunning images. I know I was very lucky to get these pictures, since the second half of the cruising party didn’t get the sunshine to make their pictures stunning. This region supports nesting blue-eyed shags, pintados and Antarctic terns on the nearby cliffs.
The morning started with the usual Zodiac boarding and it was on to cruise for an hour.
With almost perfect lighting and a sheltered harbour, it made for some amazing mountain and glacial reflections. Enjoy!
Amongst the glorious reflections … there were other Zodiacs and Kayakers taking in the vistas. Having the Zodiacs against the stunning backdrops definitely gives you a sense of scale.
The night before Paradise Harbor was a fun night; we had been in the bar, having a few drinks, enjoying the music, playing darts and generally having a good laugh. The mood was good throughout the ship and we were all excited for what lay ahead. A couple of our group agreed to get up early that morning so we could see the sunrise, therefore at 6am I dragged myself out of bed, got my warm gear on and headed out onto the top decks. Unfortunately the sun was already up – Not sure why we said 6am as there were multiple notice boards on the ship stating the time of sunrise which was around 3-4am in the morning!
Nothing could describe this scenery!
However all thoughts of seeing a beautiful sunrise were pushed from my mind as soon as my eyes adjusted to the daylight and I saw the landscape unfold before me. Paradise Harbor is the type of place that poems and songs are written about, it really is that beautiful and inspiring. Our boat was surrounded by vivid blue waters; the colour was fantastic and so bright. The water was scattered with icebergs and sea ice coloured in various hues, from frosty white to bright turquoise; this created a beautiful pattern across the water and some dazzling reflections from the sun. I could not believe how still and clear the water appeared – There was not a single ripple and the whole surface looked like a sheet of glass, it was quite mesmerizing and not like anything I had ever seen before – It was such a great experience being out in the fresh Antarctic air to marvel at the scene around me.
Surrounding the picture perfect waters were a string of mountains; Immense snow and ice covered mountains that stretched to the sky. I saw plenty of mountains like this during my time in Antarctica but never as clear or with such a beautiful reflection. The morning sun lit them up perfectly and at times these domineering shapes were a strain to look at due to the sheer brightness of the reflected sun. As I took in the scenery around me I wondered if anyone had ever, or would ever set foot on any of those mountains, and how much of Antarctica was still untouched completely by man – It was quite a moving thought, to think that I was lucky enough to travel where only a small percentage of the worlds population will ever go.
Chile’s González Videla Antarctic Base Iceberg in Paradise Harbor