No, unlike Mike and Lori, I’ve never worked on Antarctica, but I did visit the southernmost continent in the summer (northern hemisphere’s winter) of 2000.
I took a Marine Expedition (now defunct) cruise that lasted 25 days. We started from Buenos Aires, headed to the Falklands, then to South Georgia Island, and then to the peninsula.
It was an absolutely fantastic trip. There are so many things to see, including the wildlife, the clouds, the still nights anchored off South Georgia Island, the ‘pungent Penguin perfume’ still noticable several miles off the coast.
It was expensive, to be sure, but worth every penny, for the memories will last a lifetime.
And, I fell in love with penguins. They are so cute and so very interesting to see. They are not at all unnerved by humans, so you can walk among them and they pretty much ignore you. We are visitors to their place, so they have not imprinted a fear of us.
One thing I noticed, and I think it was due to the cold, was how low the sky was. By this, I mean all of the clouds were quite low, probably due to the fact that very cold air cannot hold much moisture at all. The colors of the sky of Antarctica is undescribable, but remains as pictures in my mind.
The icebergs, the ice sheet on the peninsula, the wheeling birds behind the ship, the tortuous, rough, icy seas on the way to and from are meant to be experienced, and not described.
I probably will never work in Antarctica, but I got to visit a place that not that many people get to, and one can feel that it is one’s own land.
I would definitely go back, and hope to some day.