Of course yesterday was the ultimate in shock and excitement, all mixed together. The ship cut through the ice like a blade through butter – however while that may be a decent analogy, it’s not 100% accurate. Every so often, the ship hit a thicker piece of berg that totally shook the boat and moved it with a loud grind. That excitement lasted for hours.
We did end up at a blissful location with magic around. After dinner, the ship started out again and had to basically back track — that was interesting. I sat on my balcony until 12:30 am, just after midnight and it was still bright outside. I watched the ship grind through ice blocks for hours. By the time I woke up, we were past all the garbage ice and we were traveling to our next stop in which we arrived by 8 am.
It can’t be understated on how many icebergs live in the Antarctica. I would guess millions. The reason is simple, because glaciers are everywhere. Compacted snow that are thousands of years old which fall off the glacier form into an iceberg, or ice formed on the water and after lots of snow, it could grow to form a full fledged iceberg. The deeper the blue in the snow, the less oxygen remaining it the snow forming ice with huge compression developed over thousands of years. It’s everywhere. Every shape. Every size. And if it’s not icebergs, then its loose ice floating on all water.
Water temperature is about 27-28 degrees Fahrenheit so its cold. Hence, that is why most of the ice does not melt here.
So we were offloaded today by 9:00am to go into zodiacs and delivered to an island. Folks, again, my head is full of happiness from what I saw. Of course, penguins galore just do their business – walking here – walking there – going up hill – going down hill – going in the water – coming out of the water. Almost like they have ADD syndrome.
After a couple of hours, we returned to the ship and ready for our next adventure – kayaking on the calm ice littered large protected bay. Paula and I had a blast. Just quiet, three-hundred-and-sixty-degree-views of snow covered mountains – white and blue. We kayaked for about an hour.
That was followed by an invitation to jump into the water for a polar plunge. Paula and I gracefully declined. But lots of others took it up – I would say 30 people of the 145 on the ship took a dive into the 28-degree water. Fun times watching that.
During summer in southern Antarctic, the temperature hovers around zero degrees Celsius. That’s not a big deal. What is a big deal is the wind chill. Antarctica is the windiest place on earth. As we shared, our ship was in a sea the other day with winds of over 70 mph. That is common. Today was rare and warm compared to the other days here.
Ship took off again to another location after lunch to put down anchor in a scenic vista where those who wanted to hike could do so on a 1,000 foot vertical with guess what? Yup, another penguin colony up there.
Just before dinner, we were called to the bow to see 5 humpback whales out for a krill dinner. I ran and got my camera and took some fun pictures of the whales along with a small group of my new best friends – penguins on an ice patch. Love those animals. Always running and doing stuff – but I don’t get it – looks like spinning circles to me.
Still virtually no Internet and no-television. Interesting concept and still painful.