I was blown away at the beautiful blue coloured ice in Antartica...... I couldn't get enough of it.

in travelfeed •  15 days ago  (edited)

Even though I had seen photos, videos and movies of the whiteness of Antarctic what it was really like was an unknown for me so I had no expectations for my expedition trip. I had seen the explorers trudging through the snow greatly admiring their tenacity to keep going regardless of the harshness of the conditions. They were on a mission to get to the North Pole first.

I was completely open to the experience, it was all new. Exploring was going to be a new fun adventure via the luxury of a ship. Thank goodness it was not a trip where we had to walk through the snow for days on end.

What I was not prepared for was the pristine colourful beauty of the blue ice in the icebergs, a beautiful sight that I saw lots of times while zooming around on the Zodiacs. Check this out, gorgeous scenes aren't they?

We were exploring the South Shetland Islands finding big variations with the icebergs and islands etc. It was definitely not all white after all!

But, there were days where the blue ice was not seen. Even though the Marine Biologists told us what the blue ice I have referred to wikipedia for a much more accurate description than I could give.

A blue-ice area is an ice-covered area of Antarctica where wind-driven snow transport and sublimation result in net mass loss from the ice surface in the absence of melting, forming a blue-coloured surface that contrasts with the white colour of the Antarctic surface. Such blue-ice areas typically form when the movement of both air and ice are obstructed by topographic obstacles such as mountains that emerge from the ice sheet, generating particular climatic conditions where the net snow accumulation is exceeded by wind-driven sublimation and snow transports.

Only about 1% of Antarctic ice area can be considered to be blue-ice area, ..........Additionally, ice up to 2.7 million years old has been obtained from blue-ice areas.source

We were in the South Shetland Islands for five days and being on the first expedition for the season, there was a huge amount of ice in the water so much so that it was not possible for the Zodiacs to get us intrepid explorers to shore. So, instead we were driven by skilled drivers through the ice and around the icebergs in the falling snow. It was very cold.

On one of the trips where the sun was shining I managed to get some close up shots right inside the blue ice.

And here is a photograph that has a big wow factor but it was not always easy to get that perfect shot when sharing a zodiac with 9 other eager camera snapping companions. Check out the second shot, just as I clicked the selfie stick suddenly emerged. What a hoot!

The seals had a prime eye view of us visitors as we were driven by. This is a Weddell seal. These seals sleep on their sides and backs on the snow and ice. They may raise their heads to take a peak at us but generally happy to keep sleeping away. They eat krill and get on with the penguins. The Leopard Seal is the penguin predator.

Cheers and Blessings

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2.7million year old "blue ice"!! Absolutely stunning.

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This is unforgettable experience, and seeing that with own eyes, just woow. And I can't imagine how cold is there 🤦‍♀️ amazing that you saw that 💪

Hi @tinabrezpike, so glad that I went. We wore a couple of wool layers underneath the waterproof pants and big padded yellow coats.

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Wow what amazing beauty! Never seen anything like it! Looks kinda cold for me though.