Friday, January 18, 2013

Antarctica: The White Continent


RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-6

Ever since my trip to the Arctic in 2009 I have been dreaming of visiting the Antarctic.  I figured Antarctica would be a trip to add to my bucket list and dream of for many years to come so I was so excited when my whole family decided to go this December.  It was magical trip full of penguins, beautiful ice, getting to meet incredible people on board and my sister got engaged on New Years Day!  We went with National Geographic and Lindblad which I highly recommend to anyone making the trip down there.  We saw three species of penguins while we were down there- Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap (you have to go to South Georgia to see the big guys like Emperors).  While none of these species are considered threatened like the penguins I saw in South Africa or the Galapagos they are all being affected by climate change.  Chinstrap penguin's population is plummeting while Gentoos (pictured above) is on the rise filling in the niche the Chinstraps are leaving open with their more adaptable breeding and eating habits.  The clearest sign of climate change can be seen in the ice itself- in the calving glaciers and receding ice.  We were lucky to have James Balog on our ship who had just finished the movie Chasing Ice, which follows him as he travels the world documenting climate change and making a historical record of the receding ice through time lapse photography.  We also were lucky to have Jen Hayes and David Doubilet on our boat who went diving during the days and created stunning underwater imagery and video along with the ship's underwater videographer and it was amazing to see the underwater world beneath us!  Here are some of my favorites of the trip- more to come soon!
RYALE_Antarctica_Ice-3 RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-63 RYALE_Antarctica_Whales-3 RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-64 RYALE_Antarctica_Ice-16 RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-69  RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-37 RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-39 RYALE_Antarctica_Ice-17 RYALE_Antarctica_Whales-11 RYALE_Antarctica_Penguins-9 RYALE_Antarctica_Ice-1 RYALE_Antarctica_Seals-3 RYALE_Antarctica_Ice-4

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