The Life Antarctic: Saying Goodbye For Another Year

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Writer, filmmaker, and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Jon Bowermaster has spent the past few weeks exploring the Antarctic, as he is prone to doing this time of year. Jon first visited the continent two decades ago, and he has been back many times since, include each of the past ten years.

Over the course of his most recent journey, we’ve been able to travel along, thanks to regular updates posted to his blog. In his most recent dispatch, Jon arrives in Dallum Bay, his last stop before turning north across the Drake Passage, towards Cape Horn, which signals an end to his Antarctic exploration for this season. One of the things that Jon loves about traveling that far south this time of year is that it is daylight nearly 24 hours. At midnight, the sky remains lit like dusk, and by 2:20 AM, sunrise is already creeping over the horizon.

In this interesting and informative post, Jon talks about tourism in the Antarctic, which hit an all time high a two years back, but has been stymied a bit the past couple of seasons due to the global economic down turn. Right now, you can get rather inexpensive, at least by Antarctic standards, cruises to the region. While they remain pricey for many, they are a relative bargain for visiting one of the most remote places on the planet.

Soon, he’ll be turning for home, and that brings feelings of both joy and regret for Jon. He says he loves the fact that he gets the opportunity to return to Antarctica each year, but always regrets having to leave it behind. From his writing about the place, it’s clear that he has a real love affair with the frozen continent.

Kraig Becker