A Perfect Polar Day: Camping under Antarctic Stars

by Andrew Bishop Expert story

It's the end of another magical day on the Antarctic Peninsula, and all that remains is to pitch camp for the night.
Antarctic Peninsula

Regions: Antarctica

Highlights: Camping

Camping under Antarctic stars

It's the end of another magical day on the Antarctic Peninsula, and all that remains is to pitch camp for the night.

I load my passengers into the Zodiac and pilot them across the bay to our island campsite. They've already gathered their warm clothes and camping kits, and all of us are thrilled for our evening under the Southern Hemisphere skies.

Reaching our Antarctic campsite

After reaching the island, we take our time.

We select the perfect sleeping positions, assemble our bivouac sacks and sleeping bags, and spend the remaining hours roaming the island. All of us have smiles stamped on our faces, drunk on the beauty of the landscape around us.

Antarctic camping pastimes

Several poeple spend the evening chatting, others retire early, and still others spend time alone – immersing themselves fully in the Antarctic silence and immensity.

As I lie down to sleep, I can't help but marvel that Antarctic camping continues to inspire me despite how many times I've done it. I relish the thought of how it must feel to the passengers nearby, camping out here for the first time.

The waking dream of Antarctic camping

I drift off to the sound of the passengers trading stories, glaciers crackling, penguins crunching across the ice not far away.

The otherworldly calls of Weddell seals echoe against the cliffs like some mysterious long-distance conversation. Then there comes the far-off burst of a whale spouting somewhere in the bay. Did I really just hear that or was it part of a dream already taking hold?

When you're camping in Antarctica, it's easy to lose track...

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