Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest continent we’ve got. And it’s beautiful. Of all the amazing places I’ve explored, Antarctica is at the top of the list. There’s something about those polar regions; the air is rarefied and the light is spectacular bordering on surreal.

Surrounded by the Southern Ocean it is the fifth largest continent, nearly twice the size of Australia and 98 % of it is covered by ice. And due to the weight of that enormous ice sheet, a good chunk of the continent has been pushed below sea level.

To get to Antarctica, most people make their way to the world’s southern most city of Uschaia in the Patagonia region of Argentina. From there, you board your ship, float down the Beagle Channel and then hit the Drake Straight which depending on your luck could be a smooth sailing (it’s been called the Drake Lake when it shows its calmer nature) or it could be the wildest ride of your life (the Drake Straight can be THE roughest patch of water on the planet—check out slide #2 for an example).

The continent itself is a desert and there are no trees or shrubs and just 2 flowering plants call this place home. But where the land is relatively barren of life, the sea is alive with krill, penguins, seals and whales. In the austral summer, the bird-life is amazing with The Wandering Albatross, the bird with the largest wingspan (8-11 feet) soaring above the continent and the Southern Ocean. I could go on…

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I hope you enjoy the images.