How did I get to Antarctica


Antarctica for me has been always something that sounds impossible just by its name already. This is kind of right. There are no easy ways to get in. Or you should have a lot of money, or you should be fucking lucky appearing in a right place in a right time. Obviously I went for the second option. I went to Antarctica from Punta Arenas with Chilean NAVY by military ship that sails to Chilean bases.

First I arrived to Punta Arenas on February. I knew from somebody which wasn’t for sure that they take passengers sometimes. There was nothing for sure until couple of days before the trip. I went to several authorities before I ended up with a right person who was kind of the one who was responsible for this. I passed my cv, motivation letter, anything from my background which was anyhow related why do I needed to be taken to Antarctica. They told me there was the last ship going this season soon, and they liked my application, but there were so spaces left. I waited until the last day the ship was leaving in hope somebody can change the mind, but miracles didn’t happen. They asked me if I wanted to be in a waiting list for the next season in November. I said definitely yes, but I was very not sure I can make it back here in November.

I left Punta Arenas and went to Ushuaia (the most southern city on Earth in Argentina), another port where ships to Antarctica start, but there were no options for the price I could afford. I was sad. I was extremely sad. But that’s life, sometimes you don’t get what you want. I started searching for a yacht for another destination. But at the same time I still hoped. You know this saying: “Go towards your dream. If you can’t go — crawl towards it. If you can’t crawl — lay down towards your dream.” I’m not a smart traveler who earned money first and now taking a gap year to explore the world. I have to work on my way every day to keep myself going. Which is already hard, and being in the mood when your dreams just crushed isn’t helping. Being in Ushuaia I was feeling like my inner strength was losing me and everything I could have done for my dream — laying on the ground facing the white continent, That’s what I did.

And one day in the middle of March I got a call from NAVY saying there might be another ship this season, might be at the end of April, and I might to get in. But nothing for sure. If I still want to try I should come back to Punta Arenas with more documents. This time they needed the reference letter from the Russian Geographical society which I’m a member of, and I needed to present it in person in advanced. But nothing for sure.

Meanwhile I found some other interesting opportunities to sail like this French yacht to the North along Chilean continent — amazing landscapes, glaziers, the best time of the year to go; or this Russian yacht sailing to Greenland and freaking me out by being incredibly nice to me which made me almost to lose my mind and join them.

This was very, very hard decision. I should have said “no” for everything, spend money to come back to Punta Arenas, stay there for a month, and may be all these for nothing.

And of course I went back.

I went back because there was no other place in entire world I wanted to go as bad as to Antarctica. And I would never forgive myself if I wouldn’t try until the end. If I wouldn’t get it at least I would know I’ve done everything to make it happened.

#armada #chile #navy #antarctica #dream