This was our final day of exploring on the trip. The next day we headed back towards the Drake Passage and the trip was going to wrap up. This day was absolutely amazing, all sun, light breeze and awesome views. We landed on Deception Island by way of Neptune’s Bellows.
There were buildings there from an old Norwegian whaling station and a British Antarctic Survey base. We also got to hike up this great hill and see for miles. Wanted to stay there…BBQ anybody, let’s just kick back here for a bit!
We also got to see more seals and Chinstrap Penguins for the first time!
And videos, of course:
And where we were, Day 10, March 9:
We continued North and were on Day 9 of the trip. We only had two days left for exploring the area. We still had to set foot on the actual continent of Antarctica. All the others times we’d been on land it was islands. Today was going to be the day.
In the morning we ‘only’ took zodiacs ride. Brutal, right…we just got to check out scenery that way. But we were so eager to step on land that it was tough. We did see amazing icebergs, though, that gave unique colors, and seals and whales.
In the afternoon we set foot on land. Finally, I made it to the 7th continent! And, we weren’t warmly welcomed by a seal. This video barely shows how we had to handle it (the guides are the ones you can see). We were told if approached by a seal to put arms in the air and stay away. This went on for several minutes here and yes, hiking/ski poles started coming out. He would back down then come back to action.
The log, Day 9, Mar 8:
So we’re all adults here. We’re all in Antarctica for the experience, the education. But at some times, we acted like we were five year olds. On most of the days we were (always) on the lookout for whales, but on the 7th day of the trip they happened to be spotted right near the ship. So we were on diligent lookout for them on the zodiacs.
We got very very close to a school of 3 of them.
We would just sit there, watching, endlessly. We also just wanted the whales to jump out of the water and breach. We never had huge view of this, but still some spectacular scenes.
And when the whale would start to come up from the water, all of us would scream with excitement like little kids. It was crazy. The guides probably just rolled their eyes at us.
The rest of this day we saw some amazing icebergs and more stunning views, along with more wildlife. This day was also the Polar Plunge! Jumped into the Southern Ocean. The water temp was 32 degrees — very refreshing. We plunged in, jump right back out, ran through the mud room, had a shot of whiskey then ran upstairs and jumped into the 85 degree pool. So nice!
A some videos:
And a summary of the day, Mar 6:
Ok, so we go to zoos, we see pictures. Penguins are SOOO cute. This is the day of the real thing. We get to (start) see(ing) penguins. The key word there is start. Over the course of the next week all we did was see penguins.
Anyway, there is a rule in penguin land. You can not be closer than 5 meters to a penguin. Let them be in their habitat, it is their space. But, it they approach you, that is fine, the 5 meter rule is gone. You just need to be sure to let them do what they want..and don’t pet them!
So we make landing and all you see are these darn things. It’s tough to not be 5 meters away, so glad the rule doesn’t apply if they are near you.
This day we also saw seals and whales. The seal that is in several of the pictures in the Leopard Seal, which we saw quite a few of, and the can be quite aggressive. A very involved day!
And some videos from this day, all about penguins:
Summary of the day, Day 6, March 5.