It’s 11:55 pm on December 31, 2013 but yet there’s still some daylight reflecting off the ocean. On the horizon I see the sprays of a humpback whale pod. I’m sitting on the stern of a ship that’s about 2,000 miles from the South Pole, champagne bottle in hand, about to toast in 2014. Usually New Year’s Eve is a forgettable holiday for me, but this year, as the clock strikes midnight somewhere in the Drakes passage between Antarctica and Argentina, I reflect back with a different perspective.

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