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British Antarctica

In Search of the Penguins - Lemaire Channel & Port Lockroy

sunny 5 °C
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After a quieter night on ship, this morning we were rejoined by last night's campers, before it was time to get up for breakfast.

As we hadn't sailed overnight, this morning meant we would be travelling to a new place. However this was far from boring as we were making our way to the southernmost point on the trip - the Lemaire Channel.

Lemaire Channel

Lemaire Channel

Sailing down the channel we were prepared for ice to block the route at any time causing us to have to turn around. Luckily this didn't happen until the very end where a huge block of ice did indeed mean the way through was impossible.

One of the many icebergs in the Lemaire Channel

One of the many icebergs in the Lemaire Channel

With such beautiful views of the surrounding icebergs and snow filled mountains, we were treated to a hot chocolate by the crew, and after turning back around and heading north again, we then headed for Port Lockroy, a British base that we had watched a documentary on the previous night.

Port Lockroy

Port Lockroy

Arriving just after lunch, half the group was to visit Port Lockroy whilst the others would visit nearby Jougla Point, before we all swapped halfway through.

At Port Lockroy

At Port Lockroy

Arriving on shore to find habitation once again was a rather strange experience. At Port Lockroy not only was there a museum about the life on British Bases, but there was also a little shop for us to buy souvenirs. Yes, even in Antarctica you can buy tat!

Souvenir Shop

Souvenir Shop


Posting my postcards

Posting my postcards

Although somewhat overpriced, I bought a few bits, including a postcard to send to wish my future self a happy birthday in a few weeks time. After taking a look around the base I then headed back to take the boat transfer over the Jougla Point where once again we were treated to penguin colonies and other birds surrounded by stunning views of ice and mountains.

Beautiful Scenery

Beautiful Scenery


Returning from Jougla

Returning from Jougla

Back on ship we had yet another birthday to celebrate, and tonight we were also joined by the staff at Port Lockroy for dinner.

As our next port of call tomorrow was literally around the corner from today's location, we anchored down to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the scenic mountains. I had originally planned to finally visit the sauna tonight, however as the views were so beautiful I postponed this for a future evening, only taking a brief visit whilst fully clothed to warm myself up after spending so much time outside in the cold.

One of the hilarious bonuses of this boat was the toilet next to the lounge, which had a huge window with views of the surrounding scenery. Sitting down on the toilet doing a number two, whilst penguins swim past seals resting on icebergs was really the best view for a poo you could ever imagine.

The Loo View

The Loo View


Sunset at Port Lockroy

Sunset at Port Lockroy

After an exciting and busy day, once again my camera battery was dead, and so after taking as many pictures of the beautiful sunset as I could, I finally headed to bed.

Sunset at Port Lockroy

Sunset at Port Lockroy

Despite it being past midnight, due to the southerly location and the albedo from the snow it never really got fully dark, an interesting experience to witness!

Polar Nights

Polar Nights

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Antarctica Tagged mountains sunset scenery tourism penguins colony icebergs penguinhunt antarcticcruise polarnight Comments (0)

Antarctica, We Have Arrived

In Search of the Penguins - Cuverville Island & Neko Harbour

semi-overcast 5 °C
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After yesterday's unexpected additional stop, today we finally made it to the Antarctic Peninsula.

First views of the Antarctic Peninsula

First views of the Antarctic Peninsula

With a wake up call this morning telling us about our location and the weather report, I enjoyed the buffet breakfast before heading on deck for views of the snow filled mountains in the distance. It was then not long before we were called to the mudroom for our next trip offshore to Cuverville Island, an island full of Gentoo penguins.

Icebergs

Icebergs

I had signed up to begin this trip with a zodiac cruise, and so waiting until the end, I boarded one of the boats for a sail around the island for views of the icebergs and mountains.

Penguins on Cuverville

Penguins on Cuverville

En route we saw some seals and lots of penguins before landing at the beach and getting to walk around the Penguin colony itself. After sitting down whilst penguins ran past chasing each other less than a metre away, it was then time to head back to the ship for lunch.

Everyone out on deck

Everyone out on deck

Sailing down past Rongé Island, we got views of whales. And it wasn't long before we made it to Neko Harbour for our afternoon trip, arriving at a ice filled shore, again filled with many Gentoo penguins.

Heading back to the ship, we heard that there was a whale sighting, and so taking a detour we headed in the Zodiacs over towards where they were, getting to see the bodies and fins of these magnificent creatures just metres away at eye level.

Whales

Whales

Having been anchored since lunchtime, throughout the course of the afternoon an iceberg had now struck the ship. Not causing any damage but still a slightly worrying incident....

Iceberg

Iceberg

Tonight there was a plan for a BBQ dinner on deck but as the weather had begun to turn this was quickly moved back inside. Arriving shortly at Leith Island, those who had paid were going camping tonight out on the ice. Thankfully I was staying on deck in the warm and as the group set up for the night we watched from the deck.

Camping

Camping

Finding time to have a quick go in the gym whilst looking at the beautiful scenery outside, we then watched a film on Port Lockroy, where we would be visiting the following day.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Antarctica Tagged mountains whales ice penguins icebergs penguinhunt antarcticcruise Comments (0)

The Land Of Water And Ice

Iceland - South Coast

overcast 12 °C
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In the planning for the holiday there was always going to be one long day to the eastern side of the island, 4½ hours by road away - and we had aimed to have this on our first full day in order to leave the rest of the holiday more relaxing and enjoyable.

Getting up early we left the apartment by 7:30am and headed straight away towards Eyjafjallajökull - the infamous volcano that caused travel chaos in Spring 2010. Around this volcano was not only beautiful scenery, but also some super impressive waterfalls.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

The first was the fairytale Seljalandsfoss - a large waterfall dropping into a pool, with a walkway behind. A little further up the road was Gljúfrafoss, a waterfall inside a canyon, giving it a mystical dark feel.

Gljúfrafoss

Gljúfrafoss


Drive past Eyjafjallajökull

Drive past Eyjafjallajökull

After the short break we continued up the road to the other side of the volcano and Skógafoss, a large waterfall that crashes to the floor.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss


Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón

After these short breaks we continued up the ring road making a petrol stop en route before another hefty drive and our goal point, the stunning Jökulsárlón - a glacial lake at the bottom of Vatnajökull, the largest icecap in non-Arctic Europe. Even in summer, the lake is filled with melting glacial icebergs that sit metres from the road, surrounded by sea lions and tourists on boat tours.

Vatnajökull

Vatnajökull

Taking in the stunning views we then headed back towards Reykjavik stopping off on the other side of Vatnajökull at the hexagonal waterfall of Svartifoss.

Svartifoss

Svartifoss

Our last stop on the drive back, roughly halfway, was the hilltop peninsula of Dyrhólaey. After a bit of off road driving we made it to the top for views of the coast and the black beaches before the sunset.

Dyrhólaey

Dyrhólaey

Finally heading back down we then made the trip back to the apartment in Reykjavik after a 14 hour day, and a well earned lie in the following morning.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Iceland Tagged waterfalls water beach ice hill icebergs Comments (0)

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