Today we truly reached the southern continent, setting foot on snow-covered ground that connected all the way to the South Pole without crossing any liquid water body of water. The Antarctic Peninsula is the closest point to any other continental land mass, reaching an icy curling tentacle towards South America’s Tierra del Fuego. Even with the most cursory interest in cartography one would notice that both of these terrestrial extremities not only have a mirrored curve to them but from a topographical viewpoint seem to be a broken line. The reason for this being that the small but formidable Scotia Plate has pushed through what was once an isthmus between the two continents, separating the spine of what we now call the Andes Range, leaving a tectonic sized flanged exit wound over the course of millions of years.
Back in the present however we were able to enjoy the comparably speedy glacial pace of the ice moving over and across this landscape. A blue sky day only served to compete with the cerulean crevasses of Neko Harbor or the Adriatic water clarity that allowed us to see the massive icebergs stretching down, down, down, far beneath the surface. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins went about their busy day, trudging almost unfalteringly from the ocean level to sometimes boggling heights up on whatever rocky outcroppings shed their winter layer of snow to reveal potential nesting sites. Thinking about all these different scales of time certainly makes us lose sense of ours as it would be hard to imagine everything we experienced on this voyage has only been a few days!