In Antarctica, sunsets are of unparalleled beauty. Due to its Southern location, Antarctica experiences very distinct seasons. During winter, the sun never makes it past the horizon. During summer, which spans from late November to early February, the icy continent is bathed in constant daylight. This period provides an opportunity to witness the remarkable phenomenon of the midnight sun, where the sun doesn't set for several weeks. But in early and late summer, prolonged sunsets occur.
We voyaged for most of November, with sunsets occurring around 11pm, followed by 2-3 hours of twilight and darkness before the sun would rise once again. As the sun continued its slow descent, we observed some breathtaking sunsets. The water with countless icebergs, the frozen landscapes and rugged snow-covered mountains surrounding us — everything would take on a warm glow of intense colors ranging from golden to soft orange and pink to even fiery red and purple.
Walking around outside on the ship during these last hours of the day made me feel like I had been catapulted into a painting or a fairytale in some way. The cold and crisp air enhanced the feeling of being suddenly in a different world. Everything would change into a colorful dreamscape that looked unreal in the very best of ways. The intense colors, the long shadows, the calm and glistening water against the icy backdrops— Antarctica transformed for us during many evenings, showing us its most precious and delightful side. For me, this brought time for reflection and moments of clarity. Time for my soul to become connected with this beautiful place, time for my heart to become touched forever.
More than once, entrenched in colors and in this grand silence of the ice and water around us, we observed pairs of humpback whales peacefully playing and swimming in the distance. Giving off steamy fountains when coming up to breathe made them easy to spot. The tiny water drops still floating in the air would often glow bright orange in twilight, even after the whales had dived again.
Watching the whales in this most beautiful and harmonious environment underscored once again that we were just guests in another world. A world we must respect and fight to preserve, fight to keep cold, fight to keep pristine and magnificent. Because imagine what it would be like if there was no ice left on all those bare black rocks and mountains that make the Antarctic continent. Because that is actually already what is happening, more and more. Irreversibly so.