In a year when I was still able to travel abroad, I decided to take a trip to Antarctica.
Traveling to Antarctica is not easy. If you don’t join the group (you can travel alone or several people go alone), it is actually impossible, because the prices of the cruise ships are similar, and the inland section of Argentina (from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia) often encounter accidents (workers in Argentina are always on strike). If you really want not to join the group, you must be prepared for the above difficulties (the price difference is not too much, if you encounter an accident on the road, you need to deal with everything alone).
Crossing Devil’s Strait
My route this time is: Wuhan-Beijing-Dubai-Buenos Aires-Ushuaia-Boarding, the total time is about 35 hours, and I have turned more than half of the world.
When you arrive in Ushuaia, you will know in advance that the weather is fickle: it snows one second, and the sun rises the next second. Some foreigners on the street wear a cotton-padded jacket on top and shorts on the bottom. In addition, the wind is particularly strong like a knife cutting. If you go, pack warm clothes and some summer clothes (30 degrees in Buenos Aires at this time).
When we arrive in Ushuaia, can we go on board? No, it also depends on the weather, because here is in the westerly belt, there are often storms and even hurricanes, wait for the captain to confirm that there is no bad weather in the Drakes Strait before setting off. Therefore, after boarding the cruise ship, you have to listen to the weather, as you may not be able to set off for Antarctica on the same day.
Sometimes the trip is delayed for more than a day. No way, personal safety comes first.
After waiting for the weather to stabilize, the captain confirmed that you can set off, and you will face a new difficulty—crossing the Drakes Strait. The Drake Strait is called the “Devil Strait” because the storm here is so severe that the ship is shaking constantly on the sea surface, and sometimes the huge waves hit the 4th deck.
We have lost contact, no signal, but we want to see the first iceberg in the Antarctic region before the hurricane.
In the boat, the dining room table tilted and the plates on the table fell and shattered. People can’t walk at first, and they need to rely on walls to advance a few steps. The cruise ship only opened the 5th stern deck. I was curious and adventurous to climb up to see the outside scene. Standing on the deck and looking into the distance, there was nothing but the endless sea. There was no land, no other ships, and no vibrant life. town.
We have really fallen into the abyss dug out by the devil, and there are only tiny us in the vast sea. The lonely cruise ship is fighting the devil, challenging the end of the world. We have lost contact, no signal, but we want to see the first iceberg in the Antarctic region before the hurricane. There is no “external force” to rely on, and we alone must break free from the shackles set by the Drake Strait.
We couldn’t go to the 4th deck at that time, a wave can take you away!
I was recording video on deck 5 and it was all stumbling around. Many tourists became seasick, couldn’t eat breakfast, and vomited profusely. The seasickness medicine on the ship is actually useless, it still depends on the individual’s body. I have never experienced seasickness and motion sickness, and this time it was fine. They said I could go sailing, and I actually felt a little sick at the end, but after a while it was all right again.
The stern of the 5th floor can’t stand for long, and the wind doesn’t stop, and its cry can penetrate the chest. The sun was completely obscured by clouds, and the only thing that could be felt in the darkness was the repeated sound of the waves.
After a day and a half of crossing the Drakes Strait, the sea calmed down and finally reached the South Pole, but difficulties still existed. It is summer in Antarctica, there is a polar day phenomenon, has your biological clock adjusted? It didn’t get dark here until about 1 am, and then it lasted only 2 hours before it was light again. The southern hemisphere is the opposite of the northern hemisphere, where black and white are reversed. People need to adapt as soon as possible to have fun.
Set foot on Antarctic soil
The coffee table in my room was turned over, the cup was broken, and the bed was shaking from side to side at night, so I slept for a while. At 3:00 am, there was a knock on the door. “Chen Wei, are you awake? There is an iceberg ahead, we are here, let’s take a look at the stern of the 5th floor.”
”Oh, ok, I’ll be right there.” I said.
Wow, I saw it, a floating iceberg, the sun came out, and the sunlight shone on the iceberg, as if reflecting a smile. The sea is also calm, all the haze has passed, and we have reached the South Pole.
”Today, we will land on Aiqiu Island, an island in the Antarctic…” The radio broadcasted, and all the sleeping tourists woke up, each and every one of them was extremely excited.
Penguins, glaciers, seals… just ahead! We put on our jackets, brought our equipment, boarded the assault boat, and went to the island.
Scenery of Ushuaia, Argentina
Penguins on Echo Island
In Antarctica, we mainly use assault boats to land and cruise. When cruising, try to sit inside the boat, because the speed of the boat is fast, and a wave will knock people down. When landing on the island, we had to follow the path planned by the small red flag planted by the expedition team, because there were unknown risks in the outside areas, such as ice cracks (the snow was thick and invisible, and people stepped on it).
The sky is clear. Breaking free from the shackles of the devil, God rewards us with sunshine. On the island of Aiqiu, the penguins are hatching little penguins. Some of the little penguins have been hatched, and some of them have been preyed on by skuas. Penguins build their nests with stones, and they always compete with each other for the stones of their neighbors: one penguin takes the stone, and the other penguin takes it away, which is very funny. We cannot stand on the penguin channel and prevent them from going to the beach to fish. In Antarctica, they are the masters and we should let them go first.
On Aiqiu Island, looking into the distance, the sky, cruise ships, sea, reefs, and mountains form a vast beauty, and with the gift of sunshine, we can feast our eyes.
Under the acceleration of the strong wind, the snowflakes shot at people like bullets.
First stop, smooth sailing. The second stop, the weather is not good. We landed on Deception Island just in time for a storm. Accelerated by the strong wind, the snowflakes shot towards people like bullets; unable to face them directly, we had to walk with our backs to the storm.
The entire island was flooded by it, and the only life that could be found were two chinstrap penguins, and a leopard seal. These creatures are more adapted to the Antarctic continent than humans. We see penguins and seals, their strength may not be worth mentioning to themselves, they may not want to have so many “strong” abilities, they may just want us not to disturb them, and that is enough.
During the storm, people left Deception Island one after another. Two chinstrap penguins and a leopard seal were there, leisurely and leisurely. We are passers-by, and you are the masters of Antarctica and the eternal masters here.
On board the cruise ship, the storm continued. I recorded this rare weather, with snowflakes floating in the sky all over the sky. The blooming of cherry blossoms is only a moment, and the snowflakes will forever shock people’s hearts. Maybe when I recall this storm in my later years, I will say that at that moment, I was also a snowflake, rushing into the embrace of nature, dancing the eternal melody, not laughing or crying, just following and following.
Preparing for a cruise ship to Antarctica
On our second day in Antarctica, we landed on Cuverville Island, which has a large population of Gentoo penguins. Plus, we had a windfall – a molting Weddell seal. This guy was lying on the snow, twisting his body occasionally, half of his skin had already been shed. Tourists walk by, and the chubby one is at ease.
Suddenly, it yawned, and the fat man moved in a naive manner, and even yelled, as if to say, “So many people photographed me, I will charge you…” This is the closest seal we have come into contact with. I heard that the penguin has already Due to the warming of Antarctica, the molt is premature. Seals also undergo fur replacements here. I really hope that these creatures can live and thrive on this continent for a long time.
On the third day, I climbed the mountains in Antarctica. Before I came to Antarctica, I didn’t expect to climb a mountain, and it was a snow-capped mountain, and I climbed the snow-capped mountain wearing boots without hooks. “Chen Wei, you have no way out. You have reached the middle of the mountain. It is impossible to go down, and it is even more difficult!”
Looking at the beautiful scenery of Paradise Bay, sweating all over my body, I stood halfway up the mountain, stepping on my feet. Facing the slippery snow, I hesitated. It’s too slippery, and I’m still quite scared at high places, as if standing at the crossroads of life, going down?
Only upward, only upward, it seems that people are forced out. These words are not inspirational, not to work hard, but to survive. I had no choice at the time. I would block the path of others on the mountainside. Step by step, I used trekking poles to confirm whether the snow under my feet was firm, shifted my sight to my feet, and removed distracting thoughts in my mind. feet, and then follow the path confirmed by the small red flag, climbing step by step.
In the end, my sweat soaked my clothes, and the bean-sized beads of sweat covered my forehead, hair tips and cheeks. I can’t remember how many steps I took, but I can’t see the end. I just remember climbing up with my eyes closed, and finally I reached the top of Paradise Bay.
I was the third one to arrive. I didn’t think that if I conquered the mountain, I probably defeated myself. Compared with these, I feel that sweating in Antarctica has a different taste.
Visit Great Wall Station
I heard that I was going to the Great Wall Station soon, and I was relieved. Professor Tang Miaochang, who is accompanying him, is the first generation stationmaster of the Antarctic Great Wall Station. Because the Great Wall Station is a scientific research site, it is currently not open to a large number of tourists. We must ask Professor Tang to contact the Great Wall Station and get confirmation from the other party before entering.
Great Wall Station
A farewell ceremony about to leave Antarctica
The Great Wall Station is located on the Fields Peninsula of King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. It was built in 1985 and it was a perennial station that year. There are about 40 players here in summer and usually 14 players in winter. The Great Wall Station is the largest of China’s four stations in Antarctica. The Great Wall station is very modern, comfortable and well spaced. There are not only many laboratories and living facilities built on the station, but also a sports hall with indoor basketball courts and table tennis tables.
Landing at the Great Wall Station, the first thing that catches the eye are containers of different sizes, with “China Antarctic Expedition Team” written on them. On the left hand side in front of me, at the foot of the mountain are the four words “patriotism, truth-seeking, innovation, and hard work”; if you continue to go deeper, you can see the Great Wall Stone engraved with the words “Great Wall Station” and a chime bell. Going forward, there are signs one by one, marking the distance from some cities in China to the South Pole.
We visited the exhibition hall of the Great Wall Station, where we can see some information about the history, activities, work, exchanges and other information of the Great Wall Station. Finally, everyone came to the sign of “Welcome to Great Wall Station” to take photos as souvenirs.
There is no thick snow on the Great Wall Station. Compared with 1985, the temperature here has risen a lot, and the impact of global warming is still quite huge. Our earth home is the foundation of our survival and development. It is especially important to protect the environment, but the development of human beings will inevitably consume the resources of the earth. We can only do our best to control the excessive destruction, control the degree of destruction, keep the contradiction between environmental protection and development within a certain limit, and make the human homeland last as long as possible.
Embrace Antarctica and gain insights. When we were about to bid farewell to Antarctica, we resolutely jumped into the sea, just like drinking a glass of farewell wine.
Plop, we jumped into the water one by one like penguins, with a naive attitude.
The clear sky was temporarily exposed, and I stood at the bow of the boat, listening to the sound of nature quietly with the breeze blowing on my face.
Antarctica is like a mirror, from which I see myself, creatures, nature, and people. I didn’t get a satisfactory answer in my heart, let my thoughts fly, record what I can feel, and transform it into growth and self-examination, and transform it into love.