Myke's Photo Gallery: Antarctica
March 3 - 15, 2019

All photos within this webpage are copyright 2019, Myke Olson, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
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After visiting all 50 states before I turned 30, I set a goal to visit all 7 continents before I turned 40. With 5 under my belt at that point, this seemed like an easy task. I had traveled to South America (the Peruvian Rainforest) and Africa (Kenyan Safari) when I was in high school. My family had also been to Europe previously so that was covered too. In 2004, we also went to Australia and then I went back to Australia and New Zealand to celebrate my friend Jeremy’s 30th birthday. So that left Asia and Antarctica. In September of 2018, I visited Bali, Thailand, and Japan to cross Asia off the list.

After dreaming of the 7th Continent for a while, a former co-worker suggested I check out Quark Expeditions. He and his girlfriend did a cruise with them previously and they had good things to say. After doing surprisingly little research and a phone call to their information line, I convinced my boyfriend (James) and my friend Jeremy to book an expedition. We decided to do the “Photography Series: Crossing the Circle” option aboard the Ocean Diamond ship. This relatively small cruise ship has room for 189 passengers and staff plus about 100 crew. Its moderate size and external stabilizers meant it would be good for the rough seas while also not being over the 500 person limit that it would be prevented from landings. The staff contained professional nature photographers and guides who would give presentations on our way to teach us to be better photographers while we learned about the animals we’d be seeing.

What follows is my photographic journal of the trip. Nearly all of the links go to external sites such as Wikipedia which contains surprisingly little information but at least you’ll know that I’m not just making it all up.

The Best Of Album
If you don't want to view all 845 photos, check out my top 100 favorite photos from the trip.
Day -1: Buenos Aires

We had a day-long layover in Buenos Aires on our way so we got to explore the city.

Day 0: Ushuaia

We arrived into town and explored the Prison and Maritime Museum.

Day 1: Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel

Hiking up the Martial Glacier and exploring the town.

Day 2: Drake Passage

Exploring the ship while we sail through the Drake Passage.

Day 3: Approaching Antarctica

Watching Antarctic Fur Seals and Gentoo Penguins from the comfort of the Zodiacs.

Day 4: Crossed the Antarctic Circle, Adelaide Island

Icebergs, the polar plunge, and Crabeater Seals.

Day 5: Red Rock Ridge and Stonington Island

First time stepping foot on land! Saw Adélie Penguins, Brown Skuas, as well as British and American bases.

Day 6: The Fish Islands

First sightings of humpback whales and leopard seals.

Day 7: Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island, Booth Island, and Port Charcot

Sailing through the picturesque Lemaire Channel with Minke whales and then beautiful panoramic views of the islands.

Our Engagement

Subset of the photos from Day 7 where James proposed to me at the top of Port Charcot.

Day 8: Cuverville, Neko Harbor, and Skontorp/Paradise Harbor

More penguins and seals.

Day 9: Wilhelmina Bay/Enterprise Island and Palaver Point

More humpback whales along with the first sighting of Chinstrap penguins.

Day 10: South Shetland Islands

Not much to see since we didn't land.

Day 11: Crossing back over the Drake

Not much to see on this sea day.

Day 12: Beagle Channel and Ushuaia

Crossing back through the Beagle Channel and watching the captain dock the ship in Ushuaia.

What's Next?

Reflections on the trip and thoughts on how we can save the planet.