Friday, January 12, 2018

Neko Harbour, Lemaire Channel and Pleneau Bay, Antarctica, January 12,2018

Our first visit this morning was to Neko Harbor-

where we saw a bunch more Gentoo penguins-

with babies at different stages of development-

The second egg did not hatch and won't-

Nearby was another Weddel's seal.  It has a pointed snout because it dives deeply for food-

Later, I went zodiacing.  Along the way were more humpbacks but the only tail shot, which was really close and perfect was while I was getting up off the floor where I'd been kneeling to sit on the side of the boat so I missed it -

A Southern Fulmar and a Southern Giant Petrel-

Icebergs are striated and have different carvings depending on how they melt - rain or big waves carve into the ice and snow-

We came across more crab eating seals-who, by the way, don't eat crabs but krill.  It's the most numerous seal in the world-

I like the different colors in this picture-

David, our guide, really cruised through the ice-

Maybe this guy is out here for a bit of peace and quiet-

More ice-

And another humpback-

A chunk of ice with sediment-

More penguins on their own ice island-

It was a great morning.  We started out at +2C and calm winds but as we were coming in about 2 hours later, the wind had picked up.  It still is just toque weather - hood not required!

After about 4 hours of cruising, we were called to the bridge to watch the passage through Lemaire Channel.  Many people were on the bow where we were served hot chocolate and had a group photo taken.  The wind and water were perfectly calm-

Some of the first cool sculpted icebergs we saw-

I like the reflection of the mountains off the water-

We went on a 1.5 hour iceberg tour.  They change a lot in between visits by our guides so there's always a surprise around the corner.  More crab eating seals-

We all tried to see something in the ice.  Here's a troll-

Finally, seals swimming-

The bluest of blue caused by the depletion of oxygen in the ice from massive weight-

And the best for last, well almost last.  The old lady who lived in the shoe.  It's massive and on the brink of toppling.  The two stumpy pillars on either side show that at one time, it was a huge mass of ice that has slowly been eaten away by the winds-

Antarctic terns-


Supper was a barbecue out on the deck.  I love the Penguins-

Notice the zodiac being lifted into place-

Supper was great, as always.  There was a demonstration of what happens to our bodies when we are in cold water.  Dany, the marine biologist, started out with a heart rate of 98 - (he was anxious) about putting his head into ice water.  His heart rate dropped to 54!  There was also a hat competition and there were some interesting ones, made from diapers, caution wet floor signs, key chains, etc.  Later there was a trivia contest in the bar .  Did you know....

The kitchen will use 6480 eggs on this trip and 2250 kg of vegetables.  We will drink 285 bottles of wine and use 470 rolls of toilet paper!  And this is just for 189 guests.  It makes me sick to think what a big cruise ship would consume.  It's grotesque!

I'm hoping for another great sleep!

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