This morning we awoke to blue skies and tabular ice bergs – we have arrived in Antarctica! We were in the Antarctic Sound, between Joinville Island and the mainland.
Our Antarctic welcoming party…
Offloading the zodiacs for our morning cruise at Kinnes Cove
Adelies on ice…
A seal taking a break on an iceberg
More Adelies. They literally come out of the water and land on the ice, it’s quite a sight to see (but very difficult to capture in a photo).
Adelies are an Antarctic species; they live only in Antarctica. They have a distinctive white ring around their eyes so they always look like they’re watching us…
This adelie was flapping his flippers to cool down – he was too hot! (or he was just being friendly and waving at us)
Kinnes Cove was more about the glacial ice and the scenery, and we were so lucky to have such a beautiful day!
The colour of the water and the ice was striking
This little guy was very curious about these strange creatures passing by…
Action shot, just a millisecond too late!
A very big ice chair
50 shades of blue
We headed back to the ship, cold but happy. Anxiously looking forward to setting foot on Antarctica after lunch.
Arriving at Brown Bluff…
Brown Bluff is located on the Tabarin Peninsula. It is a “basalt tuya”, a type of volcano formed when lava erupts through an ice sheet or glacier.
No day would be complete without spotting a Gentoo!
We saw a lot of babies at Brown Bluff, both Gentoos and Adelies.
Adelies and their sleepy chicks
Trying to stay cool on a hot summer day…
This is a tephra – fragmented material from a volcanic eruption – our geologist Lauritz was pretty excited about it!
The youngsters hanging out at the beach
Our ornithologist Adrian located a nesting snow petrel, one of only 3 birds which breed solely in Antarctica. They don’t see them nesting very often; this one was hard to spot because it was in the back of a cave. So, of course, we had to climb up the hill to see it.
After climbing back down the hill, it was time to head to the zodiacs and allow the other groups time on “The Continent”.
Mother nature’s finest artwork…
The open water was a little dicey this day, but we survived and no one fell overboard. These next pictures were all taken with my waterproof camera; one of the few trips the others stayed in the bag.
Heading in amongst the ice
Our zodiac group was fortunate to see our first leopard seal sleeping on the ice – watch out little penguins!
We had 189 passengers aboard; they told us that 178 went ashore this day. I guess the other 11 had already been!
- Adelie Penguins
- Antarctic Sound
- Brown Bluff
- Gentoo Penguins
- Ocean Diamond
- Tabular Iceberg