Polar snorkelling in Antarctica

Polar snorkelling in Antarctica - photo by Aurora Expeditions

Polar snorkelling in Antarctica – photo by Aurora Expeditions

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Dec 30, 2019

“Not for the faint-hearted” is how Aurora Expeditions’ website describes polar snorkelling. Which is concerning because when it comes to near-freezing temperatures, I am most definitely faint of heart. Yet, here I am, fumbling awkwardly with a pair of fins on the rocky shoreline of the Antarctic Peninsula while steeling myself for water that’s hovering around three degrees. Nearby, a dozen gentoo penguins look on with curious bemusement.

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Contoy Island Tour, Mexico

Contoy Island in Mexico - photo by Rob McFarland

Contoy Island in Mexico – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sun-Herald, Australia – May 13, 2018

“Make some noise for the crew,” bellows an excitable guide. “No noise, no lunch!”

I’m in Cancun, Mexico’s Vegas by the sea, and have signed up for this “Paradise Island” boat tour for what I’d hoped would be a respite from the town’s all-you-can-drink happy hours and pole-dancing waitresses.

But this doesn’t bode well. An armada of minivans has delivered us to a dock north of Cancun where we’ve been divided into groups and allocated boats. I’m in the English/French group and our guide is an enthusiastic Mexican called David.

“Is anyone celebrating anything?” he cries, once we’re all aboard. “No? OK, let’s celebrate being alive!”

I let my head slump onto my life jacket. It’s going to be a long day.

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