Perched on the Edge

  • Feb 12, 2012
  • 190 words
  • 1 minutes
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Photographer Rob Stimpson blogs from Ushuaia, en route to Antarctica.

I am writing from Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet. Flying up the Beagle Channel to get here was spectacular, with the mountains shrouded in clouds and mist and sunlight peeking through. We landed in the early evening, surrounded by these huge pieces of rock on three sides and a window looking out to the Beagle Channel.

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Credit: Rob Stimpson

This is the jumping off spot for expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula. Mind you it took three aircraft — about 18 hours of flying — and lots of waiting in-between to get from Toronto to Miami, then on to Buenos Aires (30 degrees C when I arrived), followed a flight to the edge of the South American continent.

Antarctica is only a short 1000 kilometres away now, just across the Drake Passage, reportedly the stormiest body of water on the planet. Mind you, a six-metre wave on any body of water can be intimidating. Even Sir Francis Drake, for whom the passage is named, never sailed the entire Drake or even got around Cape Horn.

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