15 Epic Things to Do in Antarctica Travel Guide » Local Adventurer

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4. Stonington Island

-68.1833281,-67.0389247, map

Highlights: East Base of the United States Antarctic Service Expedition, British Antarctic Survey’s Station E, Huge Ice Shelf, Helicopter Tour, Polar Plunge
Wildlife Spotting: Skuas, Various Seals, Various Whales

Stonington Island was the first chance for us to see an American Base. One of the unique features here is the two out-of-commission tanks they brought down as a mode of transportation (‘Murica!). There’s also Station E here, but it wasn’t open. Across the way, you can admire a giant ice shelf where some guests saw a big ice calving.

Afterward, we did a helicopter tour to appreciate the landscape and vastness from a bird’s-eye view. We even saw some whales.

Finally, conditions were perfect for a polar plunge. Luckily, it was a rare warm, sunny day to ease us into polar plunges. After setting up, we headed to the back of the ship, where they tied a safety belt on you before jumping in the water.

Once you get out, they have towels ready to wrap you and a choice of a shot or hot chocolate to warm yourself. The anticipation of jumping in was worse than actually doing it, plus I swam so fast that my brain didn’t have time to process what just happened.

Pro Tip: Wear robes over your bathing suit during the polar plunge. It keeps you warm while waiting, and it’s nice to throw back on after.

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