Subject: Day 10, February 28 – Antarctica – Ice Bergs
Okay it’s Antarctica, and we are cold, and we jump in freezing water getting out of Zodiacs, and we walk miles, and climb hills covered with penguin guano, but it truly an unbelievable experience so far. This trip to Antarctica is exceeding all of our expectations. We awoke to a field of ice bergs; many of the ice bergs were many times larger than our ship and big enough to sink the Titanic. Rule of thumb is that whatever you see above the water there is seven times more of it below the water. On one of the smaller chunks of floating ice there was a leopard seal, which is the top predator of Antarctica, equal to the Polar Bear in the Artic. Today we were glad we were on an Ice Breaker as the ship was hitting, bumping and pushing ice. After boarding the Zodiacs, we were supposed to make an expedition landing on a small island with fur seals and Adele Penguins. However, because the current was moving the ice so fast and in an erratic manner, the ice could have trapped the Zodiacs on the island; so we cruised though the field of ice bergs. It is a strange, eerie, and spectacular feeling, like being on another planet. This is the reason we came to Antarctica. After about an hour and a half the current slowed down and we were able to make a short landing on Gourdin Island.
The Polar Star jackets that we were given say, “In the spirit of adventure we renew ourselves.” So with that thought in mind and the magnitude of this expedition, I guess one should learn something new about themselves. Me, I’ve learned that I am not a hiker. No matter where we land there is always a hill to climb. Almost the moment we land there are people on the top. The first four stops I tried each hill with a “no go” for me, and not for lack of effort. So I bought a walking stick, which is now my new best friend. I have also learned that walking on three legs over rough terrain is much easier than using two. However, could I climb the 745 meter volcanic cliff at Brown Bluff? “No!” I did make it half way, but not to the top. The hikers want to know when we are going to get to something challenging. Now I would feel better if all of these people were young, but “no” to that either. Oh well, I guess I better stick to running agility and not try mountain climbing. Tom and I can say tonight, that we have now set foot on the mainland continent of Antarctica though– pretty cool!
More to follow,
Tom & Holly