As you leave the last land of southern South America and sail across the infamous Drake Passage, its hard to imagine that another world awaits you in the icy paradise that is the antarctic peninsula. High jagged peaks, overhanging seracs`and huge glaciers dropping newly formed icebergs into the sea, while everywhere life abounds. It truly feels like you've entered an alternative reality.
Protruding up above the Antarctic Circle, the peninsula is the 'banana belt of antarctica', blessed by periods of relatively stable and mild weather and an absolute plethora of wildlife that has been able to exploit the biological abundance of the rich waters close to the Antarctic Convergence.
The spine of the antarctic peninsula is the mountain ranges and plateaus, which reach 2,500m and are formed by a continuation of the Andes subduction zone and provide dramatic scenery on a scale as big as the continent itself.
Wherever you go on the peninsula there are memories of the early explorers, whalers and sealers who explored this region in ships not much bigger than todays modern yachts, and who perhaps were awed, mystified and haunted like those of us today who are priveleged to visit this last great wilderness in such an intimate way.