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February 25th 2022
Published: May 2nd 2022
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fur sealfur sealfur seal

observing the visitors
Friday. We slept until after 9:00 and so missed breakfast. There was to be bird-spotting on deck with Lancy, the ornithologist, from 9 to 11. By the time I got up there it was 10:30, grey skies, no birds and no people. It was drizzling a bit so I returned the binoculars and camera to the cabin before returning to the top deck with Nathan to do my exercise walk.

The ship returned to Deception Island since options were limited due to weather conditions and we sailed into the caldera again, this time to a different area. Much of the snow that was present on our first visit had melted. It was overcast but only occasionally drizzling. Our group wasn’t scheduled to go ashore until 4:30. Once we got there, the beach was black sand and gravel, not rocky like Cuverville Island, making it a better spot for an Antarctic Plunge, which we saw people do. There was a fur seal nearby and a pair further from the beach. The pair worked their way to the water, frequently pausing to have a look at us invaders who stopped to watch and let them pass. We followed the water’s edge to the right passing ruins of old buildings, a few whale skeletons, many more fur seals, all in the dramatic plant-free volcanic landscape. We hiked up to a notch in the wall of the caldera and looked down from a cliff onto a small beach where several fur seals lay. The gorgeous blue of the sea was set off by large, smooth jet black vertical cliffs on either side of the opening. It was extremely windy and began to rain a little so we set off back down the steep walk and headed down the beach to its other end. We escaped the wind, passed wrecked buildings, large rusting storage tanks and an airplane hanger, all part of a British station. Once there had been a runway along the beach. We climbed up to a ridge that offered a great view and we would have gone on to the top of a very high hill but it was late and the crew staff were on their way down, carrying the flags that marked the end of the allowed viewing area. Nathan and I had a very nice walk back to the landing site with Lancy, the ornithologist and another crew member. This was the last shore visit of the cruise and I felt very satisfied that it had been such a good day. Before we sailed away, a sailboat pulled up alongside us to take on fresh water. They had technical problems that made them run out of fresh water and they needed enough to get them back to South America.

02-26-22. Saturday. Sea day, heading back to Chile.

02-27-22. Sunday. Another sea day. The waters were a little rough and water was splashing out of the pool onto the deck. I got some good shots of a giant petrel that was following the ship. It was an overcast day. The National Geographic Endurance sailed by.

02-28-22. Monday. Final sea day. Overcast but beautiful views along the Beagle Channel. Bad weather was predicted for our morning arrival in Punta Arenas, so we docked that night and slept aboard in port.

MS Roald Amundsen is a hybrid ship and sails with electrical propulsion, reducing fuel consumption andCO2 emissions by 20%. Hurtigruten cooperates with organizations that study climate change and the health of the oceans. Some of the crew members were from such groups.

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