National Geographic ADVENTURE contributing editor Jon Bowermaster has returned to Antarctica this season, after last year’s five-week-long expedition by sea kayak and sailboat ("The White Continent Heats Up," November 2008). Wtihin days of his arrival, a tourist boat ran aground along the Antarctic Peninsula, the M/V Ushuaia, showing the world just how treacherous the waters and ice of the Southern Ocean can be. Though the Ushuaia’s 122 passengers were safely off-loaded and flown back to Argentina, it’s a reminder that as more and more tourists come each season, there will continue to be more accidents. (Last season, traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour, Bowermaster was among the first on the scene at the sinking of the veteran Antarctic tourist ship The Explorer – see NGA Special Report, March 2008).
Bowermaster also reports on continuing trends of warmer temperatures, disappearing Adelie penguins and more rain, evidence of global climate changes impacts on the seventh continent. Follow his dispatches at www.jonbowermaster.com.
Photograph courtesy of Jon Bowermaster