#humansofyachting – George Duffield
“The journey down to Antarctica is not to be underestimated. Drake’s Passage is the world’s worst stretch of water, where the entire Southern Ocean has to squeeze through a narrow gap. We surfed down with huge waves from a Force 10 pushing us on, rolling and heaving for days.
We were followed from Ushuaia by wonderful albatrosses, but they all turned back at the exact moment we crossed from the grey Southern Ocean to the black Antarctic sea. It was literally a line in the sea beyond which they would not go. There is nowhere hospitable for them to rest in Antarctica.
Antarctica itself is entirely black and white. There is nothing there with colour. The sea is black, the rocks are black, and the snow is white. There are no plants or trees to be seen. Coupled with the complete absence of humans, it is extraordinarily calming to the mind. An absence of visual overload is one of the most blissful aspects of the entire continent.
The lasting impression of my trip is the stillness and silence – no planes in the sky and no movement on the land. Travelling by sailboat all we heard was the wind in the rigging, and the occasional crunch of shifting icebergs. Night time was a symphony of low ice rumbles.
We enjoyed gin and tonics with iceberg ice cubes. Salty, but delicious.”