A Time to Reflect

Today I sit gently on my bed, thinking how I’ve become so fond of my little room on the ship. Strangely, I think I’ll miss it. A little place of comfort and quiet, with a window to the ever-changing swells of the sea.

How fortunate that the ocean is calm today as we enter the Drake Passage — an unusual turn of events and the first of its kind this season, I’m told. I feel the calm of the outside echoed in the people on the inside. Today there is an energy of collective chill, time to connect with those we haven’t yet had time to. Wallowing in those slow moments, really appreciating all that we’ve gone through and all that we’ve gained over the past two weeks. It’s been indescribably beautiful and transformative, and I know that the experiences and memories will ripple out in weird and wonderful ways in the days that follow. I’m grateful for these two full days that we have to slowly unwind and process as we head back to Ushuaia. Time to solidify the new friendships made. To digest the majesty of what Antarctica has gifted us. Time to say goodbye to this magnificent part of the planet, but hello to the winding road of possibility that lies ahead. I doubt that this bubble of otherworldly delights will pop, but it is likely to float off into the recesses of our minds as we return to what we call reality.

In those times of floating I will close my eyes and recall the taste of the most crisp, clean Antarctic air, the snap and crackle of the icebergs. And I will remember what Antarctica has taught me: to listen carefully to all the sounds, as it’s often the quietest of voices that have the greatest impact.

-Kate Gardy
2018 IAE Alumni from South Africa