A Travellerspoint blog

Finally Meeting the Penguins

In Search of the Penguins

all seasons in one day 5 °C
View In Search of the Penguins on kmmk17's travel map.


After a pretty rough crossing yesterday, today we finally made it to the 7th continent - Antarctica.

Waking, the difference in the water was already clear, a little bit of bobbing still, but nothing compared to the the previous day. After breakfast I went for a wander, visiting the bridge, which on this ship had an open door policy, before attending the mandatory briefing on rules in the continent.

Bridge

Bridge

After collecting boots and having items vacuumed for biosecurity, we began to see our first icebergs in the distance, as well as birds and whales. It wasn't long then before lunch and a talk on penguins followed.

Penguin Island

Penguin Island

Having raced out of Ushuaia to avoid the storm, we were ahead of schedule and therefore able to enjoy our first landing already! This would be at Penguin Island in the South Shetland Islands - an active volcano that although snow free had a wide range of wildlife.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

The process for getting out on land wasn't quick. Being called in groups we arrived in the mudroom already in thermals and our parka coats, put our boots and lifejackets on and then swiped out before walking down the steps to get on a Zodiac dinghy to sail to shore.

Boarding the Zodiacs

Boarding the Zodiacs


Seals

Seals

Once at the beach we got off and walked around past Seals and Chinstrap Penguins and up to the hill for a hike to the top. Although around 5˚C outside, in the thick clothes hiking up quickly became hot and sweaty. The brief snowfall was therefore a welcome relief to cool us down before it cleared up for views around the area.

Chinstraps

Chinstraps

Walking back down to spend a bit of time with the penguins before heading back to ship was a welcome treat and gave us a taste of what to expect in the next five days.

Back at the ship I left my dirty and wet items in the mudroom before heading back to the room to change out of my thermals where I found an envelope with my name on it. Opening it up I found a letter from Jim & Christine, with whom I had travelled with in Central Asia in the autumn. Coincidentally they were travelling on the tour immediately before mine and so had left me a little note for me on board - a really beautiful gesture!

As we had now reached Antarctica, we had a welcome drink in the lounge to celebrate with the captain before dinner. This was followed by an evening documentary as we sailed through the Bransfield Strait at sunset en route to the mainland of Antarctica itself tomorrow.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Antarctica Tagged boat mountain penguins seals penguinhunt antarcticcruise

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