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Reflections on Being in Antartica

by Katrin Robertson


Reflections on Being in Antarctica
Katrin O. Robertson
January, 2022
Of the many spectacular natural environments on Earth, few are completely free from the human desire to possess them. Once they are discovered, we humans build roads and trails, construct gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and towns, open gift shops, create guided tours with headphones, man ranger stations, post informational plaques, and construct visitor centers staffed by experts - all as emblems of human ingenuity, access, and progress. 
Whether grounded in a commitment to education, conservation, or consumerism, humans want to be the ones to claim and tame Earth’s territories, to do most of the talking about them, and proudly declare,

“I am here!”
Except in Antarctica.

This continent has no interest in the human battle to possess and tame it.
The effort required to get to Antarctica is the first hint that the continent plays by its own rules. It requires embarking on a three-day rite of passage through the Drake Channel – the place where the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern seas converge, creating one of the roughest and most unpredictable waters in the world. The nearly six-hundred nautical miles of the journey often subjects its passengers to thirty-foot plus waves that challenge even the most seasoned mariners.