20 April 2015

Antarctica for Christmas

Back to The Peninsular for the rest of the season including Christmas and I even had a visitor!

Once we left Ushuaia it was back to "work" looking at charts and ways to make Antarctica better than ever for the lucky people I would take sea kayaking down there. The typical day would start with a lovely wake up call over the PA, staff meeting over breakfast, then it was off to the bridge to try figure out the weather and make a plan. This would often change according to where the boat was anchored and what the wind, ice, wildlife, etc was doing to get people on the water and then finish at the landing site where the rest of the passengers were to go and check out the penguin colonies etc. 

Lucky for me, if I was unsure if my plan was going to exceed people's expectations, Antarctica would top it off for me.

Then there were the days when a curve ball would get thrown and rather than plan A working out it would evolve until the uncertainty was conquered and a decision was made to get people off the ship and into zodiacs to go on a cruise, go for a kayak, or go for a walk around on one of the many islands or the continent.

Capt. Barios navigating through some ice in the Lemaire Channel. No problem at all.

Then christmas came along and it was just like any other Christmas only the penguins refused to put on their Santa hats, but they did come to the party.

A Gentoo came in to say "hi" at Dorian bay.

Then Christmas changed with the tide and we had an adventure where a non-ice chocked channel became very ice choked and the ship had to re-locate as a couple of us made our way out through some thickening ice..

Dance party on the zodiacs to keep warm while we waited for the Ocean Nova to move from anchorage A to anchorage B.

Other than that, there were plenty of whales to check out. This day I had a couple of super lucky teenagers that had a few Humpbacks come say hi. So rather than our mission we had planned to go for a longer paddle away from the ship and get picked up, we made it a couple of miles and then just let ourselves be entertained by them feeding and cartwheeling in a nice calm bay.

 Just chillin.

And then there were the times when you went to a landing site that you'd never been to before, or even rarer, one that none of the staff had been to before just to go for a little look around. 
This was the first time that any of us had been to Fort Point, mainly because in rough weather landing here is super hard, this day it was amazing.

 Mikkleson Horbour on a rare calm day with a curious Weddell Seal. Photo from Nico Guildemeister.

 Somehow Mike and I became the ships quizz masters.. the quizz master is always right!

 Baby Gentoo twins at Yankee Harbour

 Penguinos down in the Polar Circle
 Ice south of the Polar Circle

 Penguin colony on the Yalour Islands.

Chinny Chinstrap Penguino.
Until next time!

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