Hurrah, Hurrah, A-Antarctica

Author: Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

As Philadelphia finds itself at the beginning of yet another heat wave, and as much of the nation has experienced record heat this summer, I thought I’d take you on a little trip with me through time and space to someplace just a bit cooler. In February 2008, I was fortunate enough to host a Penn Alumni Travel trip to Antarctica. Coolest moment (no pun intended, but it stays): being out on our Zodiac raft when three humpback whales decided to hang out with us. I casually asked the Naturalist driving us if there was any history of whales overturning a Zodiac raft. He shrugged. I tightened my life vest. A few of my video clips of those whales are below. I will never forget this trip, and my temperature has dropped a few degrees just looking at these photos again. May they have the same effect on you.

I love that the coats they gave us match our flag! If they’d been certain other colors, I think some alumni might have braved the cold for this photo.

One of my favorite shots of the trip. This Gentoo penguin chick walked up, stopped and looked at me before moving on.

Molting Adelie penguin chick teaches me a new dance.

This penguin chick walked right up to this guy and stopped. I tried to tell him, but he was too focused on taking photos of the penguins in front of him to hear me. So I started taking photos. Then his wife, approaching with that group on the left, starts pointing down at his feet. Then he looked down…

Oh, hello.

Three humpback whales befriend our raft. The woman sitting next to me is really, really excited about it.

Humpback whales are identified by the patterns on the underside of their tails. One of the Naturalists asked for this video because she didn’t think they’d seen this one before. And here I was thinking it was cool enough just to see it dive!

The ice. I still can’t believe I saw this with my own eyes.

Bottom of the world, Ma!


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Nicole M., Penn Alumni Travel, Photos, Travel

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