This scene at Half Moon Bay, on one of the Antarctic Islands, is so peaceful and so beautiful. But like life, this place is not always so tranquil. There have been times when this place has been, and still would be, a death trap. Our trip to Antarctica in February offered not only amazing scenery but also wonderful and terrifying stories that began over a hundred years ago; of men driven by a passion for adventure, a vision of achievements unimagined by most,and the courage to face hazardous and life threatening circumstances for months and even years. Men who dreamed of reaching the mysterious south pole or crossing the unknown continent of Antarctica from side to side. Men who were willing to face freezing temperatures, dangerous pack ice, isolation, starvation, exhaustion and possible death in order to carry out their goals. Walking in some of their footsteps, seeing the sights they saw, experiencing a little of the conditions they faced, reminded me of some of the lesser seen characteristics of human nature; those reserved for the few willing to push at the boundaries most of us refuse to cross. It made me wonder about the motivation of such men. Was it fame, excitement, curiosity, or sheer determination to face the seemingly impossible and overcome? Whatever drives such expeditions, they leave a legacy that enthralls, inspires and terrifies most of us mortals.Their stories will be told and retold for many years to come, and are certainly best heard and read while surrounded by wild seas and white jagged mountains, of hugefloating chunks of ice, katabatic winds that will blow a large man to the ground in seconds, hundreds of thousands of curious king penguins, elephant seals and albatross - all of which we experienced at different times during our journey. It was an unforgettable experience for me, again giving me a great appreciation of the wonder and beauty of God's creation, and also the resilence of human nature. It was also testament to the power and fascination of historical stories, and further inspiration to continue writing about the lessons we can learn from the past.
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