It was dark and foggy in Antarctica. My descent towards the south end of Half Moon was disagreeably damp, musty, and cold, yet it captivated me from the first moment.
At first glance, I noticed the wreck of an old Norwegian wooden whaling boat, thousands of penguins, and a few dozen Antarctic fur seals on the shore.
If I could describe this place in a few words, I would say that Half Moon is an Antarctic island below 60° South, covered by ice and populated by thousands of penguins. The sinister dark rocky mountains gave me an apocalyptic sight of this extremely remote destination.
Half Moon – in the South Shetland Islands, has various types of rare plants, and an important colony of Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins, and many Antarctic fur seals can also be seen.
Half Moon Island
Gentoo penguins are long-tailed, with a bright orange bill and a white stripe on the top of the head. Chinstraps penguins are short-tailed, with the inner sides of their flippers colored in white. Their most distinct characteristic is the narrow black stripe under their heads.
To visit Half Moon is relatively easy, and I did a 5 km / 3 miles trekking from one side of the island to the other. I distinctly remember the loud penguin colony and the vivacious fur seals. Penguins are extremely curious, and many come in your direction to get a better glimpse. Half-moon Island has to be on your list of what to do in Antarctica.
Apart from the impressive vistas and 3000 pairs of penguins, there’s not much to see on the island, but it’s totally worth visiting to enjoy this sinister forsaken place in Antarctica.
I traveled along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands for 15 days, leaving the Argentine city of Ushuaia across the Drake Passage, down to 68° South in Stonington Island, beyond the Antarctic Circle.
A trip to Antarctica can be made onboard a cruise ship usually departing from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. In the southernmost city in the world – Ushuaia – you can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition.
The best time to visit Antarctica is during the Antarctic summer months, i.e., during the months of December, January, and February. Before or after these dates it is a little out of season to have good weather and see many animals.
I stayed about two weeks in Ushuaia until I finally got a good deal on a last-minute Antarctica Cruise Ship deal. It was worth the waiting and the time spent visiting the tour company’s offices around the city.
It’s been said that Antarctica is the most remote, untouched place on Earth. The only continent without a native human population, it is home to eight scientific bases and some of the most pristine wilderness on the planet. Antarctica is also an important place for research on glaciology and oceanography, which can help predict the sea-level rise and other changes in our environment as a result of climate. Few people are aware of the vital role Antarctica plays in climate change research. Due to its unique geography, it has helped scientists understand global warming and its effects on the world. Tours in Antarctica are easy to get thru different agencies and you will be able to visit Half Moon island.