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 received up tremendous early and tremendous excited, and tremendous desperate to discover much more of the frozen continent.
Additionally, since we had accomplished the Drake Passage crossing, this meant that we might cease taking our sea illness tablets.
To be trustworthy, I don’t assume we actually wanted them as a lot as we had 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 probably the most highly effective sea convergence and probably 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 known as the Drake Lake and when it’s tough and stormy, it’s known as the Drake Shake.
We took our time with breakfast, which has now really develop into one in all my favorite issues to do. I 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 following 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 sometimes 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 large mountains!
While you consider Antarctica, or at the least once we did, we sometimes would consider large stretches of flat ice and never ginormous mountains so it was a bit mind-boggling taking all of it in.
Enjoyable truth, these mountains had been really a part of the Andes again when Antarctica was nonetheless related to South America, ergo why they’re known 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 unimaginable.
Immediately we began to identify numerous 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 massive penguin colony earlier than we might scent them.
It was at that time our captain then instructed 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 lot (simply over 1,000) gentoo penguins.
We had 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 received actually unhealthy 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 really 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’d really be setting foot on land in Antarctica, we kinda misplaced it!
Lastly, we’d have the ability to say that we’d really 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 degree.
Once more, I don’t know why I used to be so stunned – that is what we got here right here to do and why we sailed a number of days to get right here. I feel I used to be simply anticipating it to occur on a distinct day or one thing.
Anyway, so off we received and get suited and booted and zodiac boat’ed over to Neko Harbour. Once more, as with the day earlier than once we went exploring Antarctica through 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 aren’t model new.
And don’t fear, the crew on right here make it easier to do that so that you don’t must know the right way 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 should 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 every little thing 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 traditional.
They’ve these routes known as penguin highways and also you’re not allowed to stroll on them. It’s a must to stroll on a distinct path.
Additionally, when you occur to create a gap within the present, which may occur as a result of the snow is thick, it’s a must to fill it up.
The panorama by the best way is wonderful and despite the fact that it regarded unimaginable on the boat;on land, the attitude is simply much more spectacular.
I can’t keep in mind how lengthy we had been purported 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 go away and so we simply determined to take advantage of it and correctly take all of it in.
It was completely beautiful and an unimaginable spotlight of our journey.
We then went on the zodiac tour of the bay which was additionally wonderful. The glaciers listed here are simply so large!
Now and again 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 had been instructed to put on waterproof trousers.
As I discussed earlier than, we got waterproof parkas as a part of the expedition so our prime halves had been positive.
I had waterproof trousers again on the ship however determined to put on the ‘waterproof’ 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 permit any water by.
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 positive whereas I used to be left operating into the bathe as quickly as we received again on board simply to heat up (and likewise 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’d 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 on with gusto.
And there you’ve it – our very first day on land in Antarctica! Catch you within the subsequent weblog put up once we discover much more of Antarctica.