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12 Days till Christmas – Day 11. Moonrise and Sunsets

12 days till Christmas - reflections from a leadership journey for Women and non-binary in STEM focusing on sustainability, climate change and global challenges- culminating in an expedition and leadership journey to Antarctica. 

A Pallet of blues, whites, grey and black with reflected sunlight.

It’s quite hard to explain the hope and awe that Antarctica instils. After a 2.5-day stormy journey across the Southern Ocean with nothing to see but sea, waking up to the majesty of the snow-covered mountains of the South Shetland Islands is like nothing else. My excitement was palpable as I peered out through the porthole. We were here, we were in Antarctica. I threw on some clothes and headed out onto deck. The sight evoked peace and stillness, snow covered mountains extending down into icy waters. The metaphor of an iced cake, whilst a cliché, fitted the image perfectly. Expedition team member Rose was sat out on the stern of deck 3. I later realised that this was a favourite spot for Rose, who was often found here looking out to sea contemplating the view, absorbing the peace and stillness that Antarctica offers. Whilst many of us were excitedly grabbing cameras to capture this our first sighting of land in several days; the quiet contemplation that Rose evoked took me beyond the excitement to a different level of appreciation.

Iceberg blues, pink sunsets and a golden moon


I don’t quite understand how each day in Antarctica seemed so special and so different. Perhaps above all it was the light that was so extraordinary, changing, glittering, lifting. From the dark grey, black and white pallet of cloudy days to the brilliant hues of purple, pink and blues of the setting sun, and the ‘Alpen glow’ reflecting from the snowy peaks. The light on the water creating sparkling seas, the reflections of light in the icebergs showing off their many blues. The golden yellow of a rising full moon. These colours and reflections are unique and special, words and pictures don’t do justice to the scenes that each day and night brings.

Deep ice blue, golden sunset, Alpen glow, dark seals on the white ice, sunset reflected in the sea, a stormy glow.


I am trying to hold onto the hope, awe, and inspiration of Antarctica. It will forever hold special memories for me. It has changed me. I hope for the better, and I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity that the experience of Antarctica has brought to my life.





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