I am not, nor will ever be, a morning person.
Waking up early is always a struggle. I am much more of a night owl, and I can easily stay up until dawn with no more sustenance than a cup of coffee at dinner.
However, travelling challenges this side of me, as for the most part while on adventures, the early bird truly does get the proverbial worm.
The morning on which we sailed through the Lemaire Channel was one such occasion.
The Lemaire Channel – also sometimes referred to as the ‘Kodak Gap’ – is one of the narrowest and most scenic straights in the Antarctic Peninsula. At just 11km long and 1600m wide at its narrowest point, the channel feels and appears even narrower, due to the dramatic mountains flanking it and the particularly dense output of icebergs.
This channel is a favourite for Antarctic cruises to go through due to it being just really bloody pretty, but sometimes cannot be passed through due to icebergs clogging it all up.
Our expedition was reasonably lucky in regards to weather (although the passengers who didn’t get to camp on the ice may not agree) and as a result, on one very early morning, we had no problems passing through this stunning passageway, and it was certainly worth the early wake up call.
It had been snowing quite heavily overnight, which meant the entire deck was covered in a crisp and crunchy layer of white. Feeling the snow crunch beneath my boots was incredibly satisfying, and even though it sounds like such a small thing, it somehow made me extra stoked that I’d managed to pull myself from the warmth and comfort of bed.
The snowy conditions meant that visibility wasn’t completely clear, and the tops of the mountains remained shrouded in a grey haze, but honestly, I think it made the journey even more mystical.
The overcast-ness (not a word, I know) also had another bonus – it made for extra water visibility – meaning that we could see parts of the icebergs that would normally remain hidden by the water.
This next shot is easily one of my favourites – not only is it soft, light and pretty (if I do say so myself) – it was also taken just moments after spotting Minke whales not far from the ship!
The next few photos are from various different mountaintops. I switched from my 7-14mm to my 12-40mm to capture these shots, as the ship was a reasonable distance away from them.
Despite frequent lens changes, on this morning I was so bloody glad that I had brought my 7-14mm with me. Without a wide angle lens I really would have struggled to get everything in frame…
…especially when it comes to shots like this one!
I really, really, deeply and truly despise getting up any time before 9am…
…but on this day it was well worth the effort.
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: If you hate getting up early like I do, just remember to tell yourself that the sooner you get up, the sooner you get coffee!