Day 5: Welcome to Penguin Country (part 1)

Posted 3 years, 9 months ago at 8:06 pm. 1 comment

One reason it’s taken me so long to write these blog posts is that Antarctica is impossible to describe with words. Photos and videos help, but even they do not tell the whole story.

By day 5, we’ve crossed officially into Antarctica. Icebergs surround the ship. Once there are icebergs floating past you, you really feel like you’re in a different place. A quiet, empty, place, miles and miles from civilization. There was also snow everywhere. For me especially, it was really exciting to see snow.

After lunch, we loaded into the zodiacs. We went in groups of ten, and were exploring an area called Cuverville Island. It’s found in the Errera Channel, between Rong√© Island and the Arctowski Peninsula. Ice cliffs in this area were about 650ft. Normally we’d land and explore, but today there were so many broken bits of ice that we had to stay in our rubber boats. Being on a zodiac, you feel a bit like you might fall off at any time. The snow was wet and cold, and I was perpetually afraid I was getting too much melted snow on my camera. There was a lot of water droplets on my lens building up.

The zodiacs brought us to the island, and from a good distance we got to observe a Gentoo penguin colony that had 4,800 breeding pairs of penguins.¬† I know that people want to know what my reaction was to seeing a wild penguin was. I can’t really answer. They’re amazing. They’re beautiful. There are SO many of them! All of the cliffs were covered in tiny penguins.

Our zodiac drivers left the penguins and cruised through a bunch of small ice formations. It felt like taking a boat ride through a slurpee. The crystal clear bits of ice are glacier ice, and we really really wanted to steal some to use as ice for drinks. Our driver saw a chunk and pulled it up. Between that chunk and a few others, we had glacier ice in our drinks for the rest of our trip.

We saw a seal laying on an iceberg. Unexpectedly, seals aren’t that awesome. They’re sluggish and lazy, and are massive mounds of blubber and fur. Seals have a secret weapon, though. If they lift their heads and look at you, their dog-like faces exude adorableness.

(will continue this story later. writing it out is making me cold.)


(video is vertical cuz i shot it on an iphone)

One Reply

  1. Hello! Where I can see your photos from trip?


Leave a Reply