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When I visited Antarctica more than a decade ago, two things in particular stuck with me. One was the concern of the shipboard naturalists about the larger cruise ships that were beginning to visit the region. We were on a small expedition ship of around one hundred passengers; ships carrying thousands of passengers were venturing farther and farther south, which was troubling to them because if something were to happen to one of those ships, rescuers could be days away—and, given the extreme weather conditions and the distance from hospitals, this is an incredible risk. So I began to wonder what a catastrophic shipwreck in this region would look like.
The other thing that stuck with me was seeing a fellow passenger fall on the ice near a penguin colony. He was fine, fortunately, but seeing this happen reinforced the notion that, at the bottom of the world, you are at the mercy of the conditions and of the few people who are with you.
And of course, Antarctica is...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: My Last Continent.
Writers Read: Midge Raymond.