A Spot of Sunshine in Stunning Antarctica

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For the bulk majority of the time that I spent in Antarctica, the weather was pretty much what you’d expect.

Moody, cloudy, grey and overcast.

Now, that may sound like a complaint, but it is actually quite far from it. If you have been following this blog long enough to remember my adventures through Greenland and Iceland, you will be well aware that this snap happy traveller loves a good cloudy day.

However, despite loving the grey and moody, when blue skies become scarce, the rare instances in which it is sunny and clear become rather exciting events.

During my entire Antarctic adventure, there was only one such instance where we were blessed with truly blue skies, and boy did it make for some pretty gorgeous scenery!

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This spot of sunshine came out without much of a warning, and many passengers (although not so many that the deck became crowded) relished in the opportunity to hang out on deck and watch the ‘bergs pass us by.

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Before I arrived in Antarctica, I had imagined it to be an endless land of nothing but flat and white. I had not expected such mountainous and rocky terrain, and the unexpectedness of it left me in a near constant state of surprised delight.

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Small bits of rock and land would peek out from their thick white blanket of snow, and the contrast of these two colours made for some pretty stunning shots.

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As usual, Papa Burne was rather stoked with the whole experience – just look at the grin on his face!

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Only slightly excited

Sailing beside these magnicifent mountains made me feel like a was on an otherworldly journey, and really, I kinda was.

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Ever so often I’d look up at the sky and marvel at how quickly the weather could change. One minute it is so cloudy that you can’t even tell where the sun is, the next minute there are more blue skies than there are clouds!

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At first the water seemed to be scattered with a lot of really small chunks of ice…

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…and then suddenly we seemed surrounded by some serious whoppers!

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Photographically speaking, I made a few mistakes on this trip to Antarctica. Only having one camera body made frequent lens changes a hassle, and having a maximum focal range of 7-40mm did create some serious limitations. However, I did manage to remember to pack my polarising and neutral density filters, which certainly came in handy on such a sunny day.

On a similar note, it may seem ridiculous to pack sunglasses when travelling to the frozen continent, but believe me, the glare off of the ice can be downright migraine inducing – make sure you pack your sunnies!

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Happily donning the sunnies I bought on board for 6 euros, as of course, I forgot to pack mine

These next few pictures I took of the same cluster of icebergs. I loved the way that the clouds looked like they were physically held back by the mountains.

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Looks good enough to sunbathe on!

When people tell you to work out how many memory cards you think you’ll need for a trip to Antarctica and then to pack double that number, it is days like this when that advice really comes in handy!

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How pretty are these ripples?

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If you’ve been keeping up with all of the posts in my Antarctica series, it has probably become pretty evident that I pretty much live for a good reflection shot, which is wonderful, because Antarctica delivered opportunities to capture them in spades.

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If you look closely at this next shot you can see my little head poking over the side of the boat!

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Eventually, the clouds set back in, the blue skies disappeared, and once more, Antarctica became a beautifully gloomy place. I definitely do prefer the overcast weather, but this short burst of brightness and blue was an exciting change, even if it only lasted a very short while.

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THE  LOWDOWN

Getting to Ushuaia: Ushuaia is well connected to Buenos Aires and El Calafate
Oceanwide Expeditions: An 11 night Basecamp Ortelius voyage starts at around $9650 USD
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Sunglasses!

Disclaimer: I travelled to Antarctica with Oceanwide Expeditions on board the Ortelius MV. This post was sponsored by Oceanwide Expeditions through a subsidised expedition, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest, unbiased and in no way influenced by the Oceanwide Expeditions brand, its management or its affiliates.

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

7 thoughts on “A Spot of Sunshine in Stunning Antarctica

  1. Wow, the sunshine makes the landscape and the rest just pop! Fabulous photos Elle! Your dad sure has a huge grin! 👍🏻😎

  2. I found a quiet moment or two to catch up with some of my favourite blog sites…once again, your pictures and words made me feel as if I was there with you…such stunning scenery and how nice to have your Dad with you as well! I like what Diego Johnson wrote, keep sharing!

  3. There is no end to this beauty, and yes, Antarctica has some of the highest and most jagged mountains on the planet. Sunlight adds greatly to the allure of the frozen continent.

  4. Heavenly!! What else can I say about your amazing photos? I am curious about one thing, however. In some of the posts when you are on the Antarctic mainland, I see numerous penguins. In these shots there appears to be no penguins. Why? Just being curious. Thanks again for such an incredible experience, even if was just online for me.

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