Antarctica is often called The White Continent, and that’s hard to argue with. Beautiful white snow cloaks glaciers tumbling down the steep shoulders of the mountains that seem to spring up out of the sea. The pack ice, the frozen ocean, is often a very pure, clean white. But this simple statement obscures the subtle reality. Antarctica is rich in color, everywhere you look. The dark black-blue-green of the sea itself. The cobalt sky that appears between the breaking storm clouds. The pink and rose and glowing orange of the sunsets. And the blue of the ice. It is ice that truly defines Antarctica, and its blue radiance is the most beautiful color I have ever seen, anywhere in the world.
National Geographic Explorer
Today was quite busy with many interesting presentations. In the morning, geologist Serguei Ponomarenko spoke about the geological history of Antarctica. Before glaciation wiped out thousands of species of the animals and plants that used to be here, Antarctica was once connected to Australia, and much earlier, it was connected to Africa, Madagascar, India, and South America. Later, Gerard Baker spoke about conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean. After lunch, National Geographic photographer Michaela Skovranova instructed guests on live editing of photographs, an essential skill after a memorable trip. The last activity before dinner was an Antarctica quiz. In the late afternoon, National Geographic Explorer entered the Beagle Channel. Almost immediately, the wind subsided, and the sky cleared. Guests enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the Chilean and Argentinian sides of the channel. After dinner, the ship docked in Ushuaia, and guests had an opportunity to spend a few late evening hours in this most southern town in the world.