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Seeing the Last Continent for the first time

Posted by Conservators on Sep 13, 2013 12:58:17 AM

Author: Josiah Wagener

Date: 10 September 2013

Temperature: -36.7C

Wind Speed: 8 knots

Temp with wind chill: Approx -50C

Sunrise: Around 8am

Sunset: Around 4.30pm



Greetings. This is my first trip to Antarctica so it is an all new land of wonder for me. Nicola and I joined the AHT team on the Ice just a week ago and will be taking over the blogging duties from here. We were most fortunate on our flight down to have clear skies and a plane with plenty of windows for a fabulous view.

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Sea ice from the plane


We crossed sea ice about half way from New Zealand.

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The Antarctic coast


and had our first view of the coast of Antarctica an hour or so later.

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The Victory Mountains

We passed over the spectacular Victory Mountains,

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Ross Island and the Ice

and after about 4 hours of flying had our first look at Ross Island, our home for the next 5 months. The broken pack ice meets the more stable sea ice which in turn meets the massive continental shelf ice around Ross Island.

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We landed on a runway scraped in the unending flat sheet of the continental ice and set foot on the Last Continent, a vast, surreal, frozen landscape, an entire continent to which no human has ever been native. We are here to tend the few fragile threads that link us to the very first people ever to inhabit this remotest of lands. But like them we will be here for only a short time before returning whence we came, leaving this continent where the icy land, sea, and sky reign majestically uncaring of the few people who come and go upon the surface.

I feel that a good adventure has begun.

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