2041 was founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.
Last Day of the Season
Familiar faces, etched with fatigue and awe, scampered to the upper deck to savor the moment as the first rays of the day drained effortlessly into the surrounding peaks. Being thousands of miles away from home, it has been a true inspiration to learn the backstory of why and how people found themselves on this expedition. In an effort to help elevate each other’s projects and visions, gathering content for sponsors and projects has been a big component of this trip. Alongside our Huffington Post crew, the 2041 media team has been conducting interviews with Robert, Barney and the rest of the participants throughout the past week. We are all excited to see where this content will lead, and how it will support the projects, stories, and insights captured.
During the first landing of the day, we were dropped off at a pebbled shoreline dotted with wildlife. Our seasoned guides navigated us through a thick penguin colony, and encouraged us all to venture high up on a ridge line which summit had gripping panoramas of the surrounding landscapes. The Ocean Endeavor shrunk smaller and smaller in the distance as we made our way up the ridge, each step revealing a different perspective of grandeur around us. With elevation on our side, the scale of Antarctica took on a different paradigm, we were apart of the rock and ice. On top it, rather then looking upon it. Scanning the overlook with a pair binoculars revealed an insights into the thriving synergy all around- fierce Leopard Seal’s thrashing about penguins, carving glaciers, and zodiacs like small ants floating on a mirror surface. The stillness of this landing allowed many of us to feel the true essence of this mighty place, nothing but passing footsteps or penguin calls interrupting the pristine backdrop.
Refueling our bodies and minds with conversation and sustenance back on the boat, we prepared for the closing of the Antarctica season. Exhausted and excited after the morning hike, the team was already feeling a slight touch of nostalgia as we disembarked on the zodiacs for the last landing. Without instruction or encouragement, the moment urged many of us to appreciate every second of our final day in Neko Harbor. Cameras and journals were put down during the final hike, shared silence and understanding of our collective journey rang through the crisp air.
Each day has been so different on our expedition, creating memories that will last a lifetime and an undeniable sense of urgency to protect this incredible area and our planet at large. The beauty of the day and reflections against the water leave the team glowing with appreciation. What a gift to have sunny, still weather this late in the season, sending us off feeling grateful and humbled. Loading back onto the ship from our last experience in Antarctica was met with mixed emotions, many are unsure of what the journey ahead involves. Only certain that this place Antarctica, will always follow them in their minds and hearts.