The Whales Have Vanished

Every day I hike several miles from town to the open water to see if there are any whales about, but none have been seen since the last I saw of them a week ago.

The weather has changed drastically over the last few days, as if someone has flipped a switch from summer to winter. Last week I was hiking in fleece and jeans, now I have to have at least 3 upper and lower layers. I'm about ready to bring out the imfamous Big Red Parka. Folks are no longer hiking the trails and many have already departed, we are left with about 600 people on station, compared to the 1100 we had last week...

The silence of the ghost town is broken by the sound of the waves. Open water still remains from where the vessel traversed, but I'm guessing it won't last long with the cold.

Less than a week to go... and I'm capturing every moment.

Fewer than 10,000 people visit Antarctica each year... I suppose I am lucky to see this wilderness, and after witnesseing it I am passionate about protecting it. The future remains unknown for this wild and from what I've learnt, if the Antarctic Treaty is not renewed international collaboration efforts that stimulate protection may cease to exist.

And now I journey from the water back to my tiny room... no whales to be seen, but the landscape alone has fulfilled my wonder.

In 6 days I will be arriving in Christchurch, New Zealand... the first thing I will do is hug a tree.