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Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 19th 2019

Tuesday & Wednesday 19/20 February: DAY 18&19 / KING GEORGE ISLAND (ANTARCTICA) – RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA – OVERNIGHT x 3 in PUNTA ARENAS This morning we said our goodbye to our expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac……eventually! We were woken by Kaylan at 6.00am although she tricked us by saying it was 4.45am!! It wasn’t! After breakfast, we were told that loading would start at 9.00am which was when our luggage would be loaded on large nets and craned over the side into zodiacs and taken to the beach on King Edward Island. Several of the zodiacs were off loaded and luggage in place. Then, all of a sudden, the seas changed. Waves started to come over he zodiacs … with our suitcases in it. There were several zodiacs that made it to the ... read more
King George Runway and surrounds (14)
Captains Dinner on our last night (1)
Captains Dinner on our last night (2)

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station February 18th 2019

7 Charlotte Bay, Antarctica Today was a 7.00am wakeup call as we had become used to, with wonderful smoothies served in the bar at 7.15am for those who got up early and breakfast served at 7.30am. During the Antarctic section of our expedition, the zodiacs were craned into the water from the ship’s deck by 9.00am. This morning we were going for a cruise around the Bay looking for whales. We were astounded. It was a feeding frenzy of whales for over 2 hours. They were all humpbacks. Many times we had whales all around us. We constantly looked for the bubbles coming up, which indicated that they were below that surface. On one occasion, surrounding our zodiac was bubbles everywhere. We didn’t know when and where they were going to surface. All we knew was ... read more
Charlotte Bay iceberg
Charlotte Bay - the humpback whales were everywhere
Weddell seal at Portal Point Antarctic Peninsula  (3)

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 18th 2019

9. Whalers Bay - Pt Foster Deception island, the caldera of an active volcano, South Shetland Islands We were heading towards the narrow entrance to the Whalers Bay, Pt Foster Deception island, the cauldron of an active volcano. The day was 1 C degree with a breeze and we were doing a landing on the black sandy beach. Digging down into the black sand was lovely and warm due to the thermal activity which continues. The steam was coming off the water which was beautiful. The Captain steered the ship through the narrow entrance ensuing that he dodged the massive boulder in the middle of Neptune’s Bellows, the entrance. The surrounding mountains were streaked with snow, reminding us of a favourite spot of mine in Norway. In fact, as I was giving out our business ... read more
Icy swim at Pt Foster Deception island volcano (5)
Half Moon Island Sth Shetland Islands (17)
Half Moon Island Sth Shetland Islands (85)

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station February 16th 2019

5. Almirante Browns Station Paridise Harbour Antarctic Peninsula We woke to a beautiful day with glassy water. We have been so lucky with the weather. Again, it was out in the zodiacs so that we could explore Brown’s Station, an intermittently operating Argentine research centre in summer. It began life as a single refuge hut in 1947/48 at the time when Britain and Argentina were competing with each other to determine occupation as part of their territorial claims. It was developed into a year-round Argentina naval meteorological station in 1950/51 and continued in the role up to 1959/60 when I was closed. It reopened in 1964/65 as a scientific station operated by The Argentine Antarctic Institute. A marriage took place on the station in February 1975. Operations at the station came to an abrupt end on ... read more
Almirante Browns Station Paridise Harbour Antarctic Peninsula (17)
Crab-eater seal in Paridise Harbour Antarctic Peninsula (54)
Almirante Browns Station Paridise Harbour Antarctic Peninsula (20)

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station February 15th 2019

3. D'Hainaut Island Mikkelsen Harbour We woke to see that it has snowed over night, but the morning was beautiful with sun shining and the ocean as blue as blue can be! It was majestic. The Russian crew were sweeping the snow from the top decks and we saw snow falling past our cabin window. It was announced that the temperature was a little warmer that the previous day – 1.5 degrees!!! It didn’t matter really as we were very ‘toasty’ in our warm clothes. Mikkelson Harbour is a rocky islet which is located n the small bay on the southern side of Trinity Island in the Palmer Archipelago. The islet was snow covered with a colony of Gentoo penguins and many Weddell seals which was the 1st time we had seen these seals. We sat ... read more
Gentoo Penguins on D'Hainaut Island Mikkelsen Harbour (3)
D'Hainaut Island Mikkelsen Harbour
Weddell Seals - D'Hainaut Island Mikkelsen Harbour (45)

Antarctica » Antarctica » Palmer Station February 14th 2019

Wednesday – Monday 13-18 February: DAYS 12 - 17 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTICA PENINSULA This Blog: Day 12/13, 13&14 February Around 60 miles off the coast of the Antarctic mainland we found the South Shetland Island chain. 1. Active Sound in the Antarctic Sound Pushing on past the islands, on Wednesday morning, we woke to the announcement that it was 0.5 C degrees with fine weather. Out our window we saw lots of ice floating in the water and islands around us, some covered in ice and others of dark volcanic treeless peak. It was starkly beautiful. After breakfast, we rugged up, went outside to take some photos then got ready for a 9.00am launch into the zodiacs. As the wind was strong, we stayed in the zodiacs in the morning for almost 2 ... read more
Hot Chocolate and Baileys
Adelie Penguin  (1)
Beautiful Iceberg in Active Sound Antarctica

Antarctica » Antarctica January 31st 2019

On Tuesday morning we had no excursions because the ship was still on its way to Elephant Island. Elephant Island is best known as the place where Shackleton left Frank Wild and most of the Endurance crew while he and a handful of others took to sea in a modified lifeboat in the hopes of finding help at South Georgia Island. The morning was taken up with talks in the presentation room and a movie called Shackleton’s Captain. We had no idea if we would be making it ashore in the afternoon though. One of our guides said he has been to Elephant Island ten times but only landed two or three times. Another staff member, the resident Antarctica historian, has been coming to Antarctica for over fifty years and has never landed there. So the ... read more
Giant Petrel
Zodiac Craned Back Aboard
Point Wild

Antarctica » Antarctica January 28th 2019

Monday morning found us through the Antarctic Sound and into the Weddell Sea. It is here that we expected to see the large, tabular icebergs. However, once again there was a lot of fog around and we hadn’t seen any yet. The morning’s excursion was to Paulet Island and another Adelie penguin rookery. This one, though, was absolutely huge. As we lined up to board the zodiacs, the sun came out and I had to run back to the cabin to get my sunglasses. However, we could see the fog rolling in across the water, so it was debatable if I needed them. The zodiac ride to the landing site was a long one, through lots of small icebergs and sea ice. Obviously the large ship would not have been able to get closer because of ... read more
Iceberg Reflection
Leopard Seal
Adelie Penguin

Antarctica » Antarctica January 27th 2019

Overnight the ship had steamed up the Antarctic peninsula, through the Gerlache and Bransfield straights, and close to the Antarctic Sound (named after a ship that sank there, not because of the continent, funnily enough). After breakfast, we headed out on another excursion, this time to Gourdin Island. Unlike the previous two days, the weather was not sunny. In fact, it was extremely foggy. As we lined up at the gangway, waiting to get into the zodiacs, we watched each pair disappear into the fog. We could not see more than 100 metres away, so I was hoping the zodiac drivers today had better navigational skills than ours did on the first day. Thankfully, they did. Our zodiac driver eschewed the use of a gps and had a compass instead. He said he doesn’t trust gps’s. ... read more
Adelie Penguins Jumping Onto the Iceberg
So Many Adelie Penguins
Penguins on an Iceberg While a Petrel Lands

Antarctica » Antarctica January 26th 2019

After an amazing first day in Antarctica on Friday, I was looking forward to another such day on Saturday. As we had been unable to change locations overnight because of the campers, the first excursion was a little bit later. I used the extra time to go and have a look around the bridge. While up there, I saw some humpback whales off the starboard side, so I headed out to the observation deck to get some photos. Being up high, the photos turned out a bit better than the ones on the zodiac. Soon enough it was time for the morning’s excursion at Orne Harbour. This was to be our only landing on the Antarctic continent, so I was definitely not going to miss it. I can’t remember how it happened, but it ended up ... read more
At the Top of the Mountain
Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales




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