We are making progress sailing south in relatively calm seas, and we cannot wait to see Antarctica for the first time of this voyage. We can feel its closeness. The skies are moody grey, and the seas are deep blue. The temperature has dropped considerably, and the fog is dissipating as if we are entering another dimension: the polar front. The biological boundary that converges with warmer waters from the north, creating a nutrient-rich marine environment, is upon us. Soon, all eyes are focused on the first iceberg spotted in the distance!

Albatrosses, prions, and humpback whales are faithful companions on this journey as we listen to lectures about the 200 years of human history in Antarctica and the lesser-known Antarctic expeditions at the end of the 19th century. We are conscientious of the responsibility we now have of looking after Antarctica, and we all play a part by doing another thorough biosecurity check of our gear and footwear before we reach our icy destination. Like a purification ritual, we vacuum clean every bag, we inspect Velcro and straps, we scrub boots, and with the precision of a surgeon, we extract every bit of sand from the soles. We are making memories of great times spent at the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

Hello, Antarctica! We are ready, and we look forward to meeting you.