Seventh day on the ship. We are now halfway through our landing days. We’ve had three days in Antarctica; we’ve got three more to go.
We were coming back north from the circle, with two excursions planned for the day—one in the afternoon and one after dinner. We started the morning with an 8am breakfast, followed by a lecture on ice and the Southern Ocean in the main lounge.
Then we had a short briefing at 11:30, where Alex informed us that because our ship had been slowed down by ice we weren’t going to be able to make our hoped-for afternoon landing in Penola Strait. Instead, the team put together a couple more lectures for us to attend. One was on one team member’s experience living at the South Pole.
This evening they had a BBQ planned, which was supposed to be held outside on the deck. But the weather didn’t cooperate, so we had our BBQ in the dining room where we had all our other meals.
Then after dinner, it was time for our landing on Petermann Island. There was the option for a zodiac cruise only, which they said was the best chance of seeing leopard seals trying to catch penguin chicks. Sounded cool but I chose the landing, as did Jeff & Allen. They started loading the zodiacs at about 7:30pm.
We finally managed to get a photo of the three of us together.
There were tons of gentoo penguins with a few Adelies mixed in.
The ice was pretty slushy in some areas. The green color is algae.
Some of the slush was a few inches deep. Good thing those boots are waterproof!
Penguin parents regurgitate krill for their young.
Another hiker penguin
This was the view from the top of that path. See the seal playing in the water?
More penguin chicks eating from their parents’ beaks.
The red is caused by snow algae. This is also sometimes called watermelon snow.
Circle of life
Penguins are super flexible.
Finally around 9:30pm it was time to head back to the ship, although I could’ve stayed on land for hours more. The next day we were going to try for three landings, with the first being before breakfast at 6am. Time to get some sleep.