Many people ask when it is the best time to visit Antarctica – Part 2
Watching the alpine glow between the peaks of the Gerlache Strait triggers a feeling of complete awe. Daylight tends to be long and sunrises and sunsets splatter pink and purple hues as twilight flickers on and off amidst the mountainous backdrop.
Penguins are back on the nest, frantically rebuilding, repopulating and furtively trialling what being a parent might be all about. The returning partners know their trusted mating schedule and are in tune with the mechanics of setting up their household again, as they do each season. The unmatched aunties and uncles who may be too young, or simply not paired yet, keep actively busy while practicing their stone ‘stealing’ skills and building their own nests for when, they too, may become parents one day.
Leopard, weddell and crabeater seals sprawl out on ice floes, gazing languidly at anything that passes by – when it piques their interest. In no hurry to work for their food, they happily sprawl out on wide pans of ice – sleeping and enjoying their summer state. Whales follow this relaxed approach for their Antarctic re-entry, feeding at a slow and steady pace, playing when bored. Experiences with minke, humpback and orca whales are not uncommon.
Snow is still in great abundance and most landing sites are pristine from limited early season access. This in itself makes photography and exploration optimal to capture the remote and untouched wilderness of Antarctica. Conditions are prime for high alpine approaches with deep winter snow base, and solid crevasse coverage.
Ski touring (November) and expedition snow shoeing (November – January) are activities that appeal to many, and can easily be achieved at this time in the season. Thoughts of ship or zodiac cruising in the Lemaire Channel starts to surface as winter receeds her icy grip between the mainland peninsula and the lower islands. November and December offer brilliant experiences along the Antarctic Peninsula as the summer season emerges. Early spring brought nesting seabirds (tube noses) back to the coastal habitat throughout South Georgia, thereby increasing the volumes of seabirds within the southern ocean exponentially. By mid to late November the Antarctic Peninsula’s wildlife and exceptional icebergs are accessible and in full swing.
You can read more about ‘When is the best time to visit Antarctica?’ PART 1
To learn more about travel to South Georgia, the Falkland Islands or Antarctic in the Antarctic spring here are a few links:
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