The subsequent day in Antarctica – nonetheless buzzing from having sailed not simply to Antarctica however far south into the Antarctica circle – a feat no different crusing all season had accomplished – we obtained up tremendous early and tremendous excited, and tremendous desirous to discover much more of the frozen continent.
Additionally, since we had accomplished the Drake Passage crossing, this meant that we may cease taking our sea illness tablets.
To be sincere, I don’t assume we actually wanted them as a lot as we have been fortunate to have the Drake Lake – which is when the Drake Passage is all good and calm.
As a fast reminder, the Drake Passage is essentially the most highly effective sea convergence and essentially the most treacherous sea voyage on the planet.
It’s the one which has 12m / 40ft excessive waves which is smart if you realise that that is the place the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean all meet.
When it’s calm, it’s referred to as the Drake Lake and when it’s tough and stormy, it’s referred to as the Drake Shake.
We took our time with breakfast, which has now truly develop into one in every of my favorite issues to do. I really like a protracted lazy breakfast.
It’s simply so calming and wakes you up correctly.
Anyway, after breakfast, we grabbed our cameras and headed to the deck above the ship.
The climate is such an odd factor in Antarctica – one minute it’s all good and calm and the subsequent minute you’re in stormy winds.
Then it switches up once more at a second’s discover and also you’re again within the calmest climate conceivable.
The Lemaire Channel had arguably the strongest winds we’d skilled all crusing. It isn’t usually like that. In reality, it’s fairly the alternative.
The waters listed here are sheltered so it’s normally like a lake.
It was nonetheless fairly spectacular although. Particularly these enormous mountains!
If you consider Antarctica, or not less than after we did, we usually would consider enormous stretches of flat ice and never ginormous mountains so it was a bit mind-boggling taking all of it in.
Enjoyable truth, these mountains have been truly a part of the Andes again when Antarctica was nonetheless related to South America, ergo why they’re referred to as the Antarctandes.
After the Lemaire Channel, we went over to Neko Harbour, which was when the wind simply disappeared and the water simply went all calm. It was completely unbelievable.
Immediately we began to identify a number of totally different wildlife throughout us.
Seals on the ice, penguins bobbing within the water and orcas casually swimming by.
We should always have been much more grateful that the winds has stopped as a result of when a slight breeze blew in our route, it got here with an enormous stink. Penguin poop!
It took us unexpectedly as a result of we hadn’t absolutely seen the large penguin colony earlier than we may odor them.
It was at that time our captain then informed us to seize our zoom lenses and binoculars to identify the penguin colony within the harbour.
That is the place you discover how nice camouflage is. From a distance, it seems like nothing however as soon as I took a photograph and zoomed it, we noticed a whole bunch (simply over 1,000) gentoo penguins.
We have been assured we’d get to go nearer to see them so earlier than lengthy, we ditched the binoculars and will make out with our bare eyes the penguin colonies.
The stench of penguin poop obtained actually dangerous too however you kinda get used to it.
Additionally, you’re so distracted by what number of penguins are in entrance of you that you simply don’t truly discover how smelly they’re.
I do not know what I used to be anticipating at this level however when our captain introduced that not solely can be attending to go even nearer to the penguin colonies however that we might truly be setting foot on land in Antarctica, we kinda misplaced it!
Lastly, we might be capable to say that we’d truly stood on land in Antarctica!
Like, it was so particular seeing all of it from the ship however to really get to stroll on land right here was simply subsequent stage.
Once more, I don’t know why I used to be so shocked – that is what we got here right here to do and why we sailed a number of days to get right here. I believe I used to be simply anticipating it to occur on a distinct day or one thing.
Anyway, so off we obtained and get suited and booted and zodiac boat’ed over to Neko Harbour. Once more, as with the day earlier than after we went exploring Antarctica by way of Zodiac boats (that are these small inflatable boats), we needed to decontaminate upfront.
The garments are accomplished all collectively on the ship a couple of days earlier than if they don’t seem to be model new.
And don’t fear, the crew on right here aid you do that so that you don’t have to know learn how to decontaminate them upfront.
After the primary decontamination because the boots you put on to go on land and also you get given your individual boots by the ship’s crew after you arrive. These boots are them washed each time you get on or off the ship.
You additionally get given a parka out of your expedition which you get to maintain. The boots nevertheless you do must return by the tip of your cruise to Antarctica.
Proper, so off to land in Antarctica we go. The plan was first to go discover on land after which to go discover on a mini zodiac cruise across the bay.
It was all the pieces we’d hoped for any extra. The penguins are so cute and so clumsy.
They’re additionally not overly bothered by people. They haven’t discovered to be afraid of people so they only go about their enterprise as per normal.
They’ve these routes referred to as penguin highways and also you’re not allowed to stroll on them. It’s important to stroll on a distinct path.
Additionally, in case you occur to create a gap within the present, which might occur as a result of the snow is thick, it’s important to fill it up.
The panorama by the best way is superb and regardless that it appeared unbelievable on the boat;on land, the attitude is simply much more spectacular.
I can’t bear in mind how lengthy we have been imagined to be on land for however we most definitely spent twice that period of time simply strolling across the harbour.
They do inform you when it’s time to depart and so we simply determined to profit from it and correctly take all of it in.
It was completely beautiful and an unbelievable spotlight of our journey.
We then went on the zodiac tour of the bay which was additionally superb. The glaciers listed here are simply so enormous!
Every now and then you’d hear it calve, and fall into the ocean, creating new icebergs and that in itself was simply phenomenal.
It gave the impression of thunder and completely took us unexpectedly each time it occurred.
By the point we began to make it again to the boat, the wind had picked up within the bay and we lastly realised why we have been informed to put on waterproof trousers.
As I discussed earlier than, we got waterproof parkas as a part of the expedition so our high halves have been fantastic.
I had waterproof trousers again on the ship however determined to put on the ‘water resistant’ ones I had which aren’t the identical factor. 😆😆
Waterproof is type of like plastic so that you don’t get moist in any respect. It simply doesn’t enable any water by way of.
Water resistant tries to cease you from getting too moist initially (ergo why it’s ‘resistant’ not ‘proof’) however after getting splashed constantly, you’re completely soaked.
Suffice to say, I didn’t make that mistake once more. 😆😆
Lloyd had on the waterproof trousers and was fantastic whereas I used to be left working into the bathe as quickly as we obtained again on board simply to heat up (and in addition to clean off the saltwater).
It was on that night we invented the ‘champagne rule of Antarctica’.
Each time we went on land in Antarctica, we might have a bottle of champagne with or after dinner to have a good time.
It was a weak excuse to drink champagne however one we adopted by way of on with gusto.
And there you may have it – our very first day on land in Antarctica! Catch you within the subsequent weblog submit after we discover much more of Antarctica.
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