Useful Island-My Antarctica Odyssey

Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest and windiest continent on earth. And the grandest, too. One more island. One more landing. And lots of pretty sights to savour. This was my visit to Useful Island in Antarctica.

I had a picturesque landing ashore Useful Island. Astonishing panorama and impressive sights of Penguins, nesting on rocks with huge icebergs in the backdrop.

Again an island with a story to tell. The name ‘Useful’ was accorded, fondly, to the island as this island is never fully covered in snow, thus, useful to navigate as always visible to sailors.

Useful Island is a small island situated in the middle of Gerlache Strait. With beauty in abundance, Useful Island is home to two species of Antarctica penguins, Gentoo and Chinstrap.

Each Island I visited in Antarctica, had lot of hiking opportunities. And I was happiest grabbing those.

Breathing purest air on earth. Further, being with my loved ones adorable penguins was always a sight I treasured.

Me with adorable penguins
Me with adorable penguins

I noticed everywhere I had hiked, till now, comprised of best spots for landscape viewing and penguin viewing. All hiked were well planned, too, and consisted the highest point on that particular island. Useful Island had the same, extensively planned hikes by my expedition crew. I hiked along with group and crew till the last point approved for viewing. Unlike previous hikes on other islands, this hike was not steep so ascending to the top was quite comfortable.

And the view from top breathtakingly amazing. Enormous ice floes floating around. Rocks dotted with penguins. And tiny looking Zodiacs. All combined, created the captivating scenery.  This shot delighted my camera lens and my fingers engaged in clicking spree.

Captivating scenery from top
Captivating scenery from top

I descended from top to hike to other spots. Once down, I looked up to the rock I had hiked just now and my eyes wide open. Wow! What a pleasing sight! My group members appeared like colourful symbols placed on large rocky formation.

Highest point in Useful Island
Highest point in Useful Island

By evening time to return. It got colder with icy winds. Weather in Antarctica is very unpredictable. And once back in the warmth of ship, I headed straight to have my hot sip of tea.

Going to happen lot more. Many mysteries to unfold…


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