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Today we said goodbye to Antarctica in a special and meaningful way – The Polar Plunge!

Throughout our journey the #HBUshuaia group has worked to create an environment in which we feel psychologically and physically safe. This is an environment where two truths of contrasting opinions and feelings can co-exist safely, both within our group and ourselves.

We have iteratively worked on our group norms and values from the beginning to define a set of behaviors and cultures that build our environment. An environment which is both out of our comfort zone and within our sphere of safety.

The psychological component of the ‘two truths’ have been abundant on this trip: From the impacts of Antarctica tourism and the need for conservation to the need for confidence, wellbeing and vulnerability in our leadership.

Today on our final landing before the Drake passage we got to test our physical comfort with an amazing Polar Plunge.

In Neptune Cove at Deception Island – an active volcano caldera in the Bransfield Strait, we were shipped to shore, encouraged by our inner curiosity to strip off and dive head first into -1oC waters.  Who knew how alive icy waters can make you feel!  The wet and cold rushed back to shore into the arms of those who had chosen not to. A group of the dry and warm, and the wet and cold oozed with cohesion. Smiles, giggles, and a sense of empowerment permeated through the MV Ushuaia ship.

Photo: Polar Plunge.

 

As we begin to head home from our experience in Antarctica, today we had a different expression of leadership. Not every leader has to take the courageous plunge into the uncomfortable. Leadership can also be the person immortalising the moment, holding the towel, encouraging the divers, and bringing the group together.