(Or at least the parts that caught my eye)
Iâ€™m a â€śdetailâ€ť type photographer, not an â€śartisticâ€ť one, so donâ€™t expect the spectacular.
(Click on the underlined blue text for pictures.)
We sailed out of Ushuaia, Argentina, in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, supposedly the southern-most city in the world. It was early March and the temperature was about 50Â°F (10Â°C), and a light rain tended to dog us.
The trip took us two days across the Drake Passage (map), reputed to be one of the roughest ocean areas in the world on a continuing basis (unlimited fetch.) We were lucky and only had to contend with 1-2m seas, but in a small ship it was felt.
We didnâ€™t get as far south as the Antarctic Circle; the farthest south we got was Peterman Island at about 65Â˝ degrees South.
The ship was the Andrea with room for only 90 passengers. The image shows a standard â€śwetâ€ť landing on one of the Antarctic islands, the ship a couple hundred meters offshore and Zodiacs transporting us back and forth. The terrain is also typical of most landings, gravel/cobble beaches, low hills and small glaciers. The only wharf we ever dealt with was in Ushuaia.
Since it was at the end of their summer, many creatures had already moved on to their wintering areas. Most of the penguins still around were Chin Strap and Gentoo.
Chin Strap Penguin, likely a yearling since it is clean.
Chin Strap Penguin, likely an adult since it is a bit soiled.
Young Gentoo Penguin.
Gentoo Penguins, youngster and molting adult.
This is the â€śkiddie poolâ€ť where the first year penguins learn to swim.
Not shown are a couple Adelie and a couple Macaroni Penguins that were seen. Most of those types had already left for the winter.
The Chin Straps and Gentoos would be gone in about a week or two when molting was completed.
We also met up with some Fur Seals and Weddell Seals (sun bathing.)
Not shown are Leopard Seals which often feed on penguins. I saw several and they looked VERY large and one appeared to be sizing us up while were in a Zodiac.
I missed seeing some Elephant Seals.
A real highlight was a Humpback Whale that frolicked around the shipâ€™s bow for a half hour or so.
We actually only set foot on the Antarctic continent once (all the other stops were islands), but that once was enough for my wife to complete the set of all seven continents.
Probably my best picture.
Lots of low clouds which often produced rain/drizzle/snow.
Often the terrain was quite mixed.
A narrow channel (1 mile wide by 7 miles long) that we sailed through.
And for volcano lovers, one side (columnar basalt) of the opening to a flooded caldera in Deception Island.
The island last erupted in 1970 wiping out a couple scientific bases. There was an area where swimming was possible where heated water seeped out and mixed with the cold water in the caldera. The heated water alone was too hot to bathe in.