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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

Erica Boucher Had a Dream Come True in Antarctica

Antarctica is one of those unique destinations only a few are lucky enough to check off their bucket list. It is one of the more expensive trips you’ll ever take. It requires a willingness to embrace the cold (if you’re lucky, around 32 degrees during peak season), and you must be willing to cruise for 48 hours through the Drake Passage (considered the roughest body of water in the world, because it’s where three oceans converge). Once you make it, the experience is other-worldly.

As if hanging out with thousands of penguins during breeding season, watching seals frolic nearby, maneuvering nimbly and easily in zodiac boats between icebergs of all shapes and sizes, or kayaking through water so clean and clear you can see all the way to the bottom were not enough, her recent cruise group had the most amazing experience of all at the end of the trip. After they had already said “goodbye” to Antarctica and were making their way back through the infamous Drake Passage toward South America, an announcement was made that humpback whales were spotted off the starboard side of the boat.

They were greeted by countless (100+) whale spouts dotting the horizon. And, while that was exciting enough, the whales slowly got closer and closer until, ultimately, the group was surrounded on all sides by more humpback whales, of all sizes.

“Life loves to communicate and connect in the most unexpected ways. They didn’t just say hi and continue on their way. For over two hours, they appeared to be as fascinated and curious about us as we were about them,” says Erica Boucher, owner of International Yoga Travel based in Orlando. “They frolicked, popped their heads up to greet us, flipped their tails and waved their fins. We watched with childlike awe and wonder. The crew and captain would later admit they had never, in all their years at sea, seen anything like it.

At no point did we feel unsafe. It seems like they just wanted to say hi. For that reason and more, it was the kind of trip dreams are made of. It was beyond words. Like we were in another world. Seriously surreal.” Erica is now planning to bring a group to Antarctica in January (2024).



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