Tuesday, 26 December 2017
26.12.2017 - 26.12.2017
There is no obvious indication that the day has started. We can only determine time according to the ship's clock as we are almost in the 24 hour daylight zone. By the time I woke the light was bright, the water totally calm and there was ice all around.
The people who spent the night on the ice were brought back and the ship set sail through the fantastic passage - can't recall name - where the mountains soared high on either side. The bright sun and glittering ice floes made for impressive photo opportunities. We were encouraged to take advantage of this unusual combination of weather conditions. It was difficult to find a suitable vantage point as all aboard lined the rails. The frequent sound of steel hull impacting with large ice chunks added to the atmosphere.
About lunch time we reached our landing site for today. Conditions were declared to be perfect and I decided to have another attempt at landing on the shore. The ride out on the zodiac was much calmer and I felt confident that I would manage this. Total embarrassment. Even with the assistance of two strong people I could not find my footing and crawled up the landing on my belly. With the aid of a snow-shovel I managed to stand up. Every step I took on that snow I felt I was going to topple over. Being extremely conscious of the people behind me I stood to one side and tried again. Even taking tiny steps I was unable to make much progress. Fully aware that if I fell I'd be unable to get up I sought refuge on a large rock. I sat there for almost an hour and watched the local wildlife and the more capable humans trek up the hill.
The penguins were so very cute and some walked up to me with a questioning look, stare a while, shake their heads and wander on. To add to my discomfort Jenny fussed over me and the staff were exceedingly tolerant and helped me back onto the zodiac, instead of a stumbling series of steps I slid down on my backside. The driver returned to the ship following a circuitous route taking us close to the numerous icebergs allowing us to see the various sculptures created as they slowly melted.
Before diner the regular debrief informed us that this was the first landing on that spot for the season. We were also told that our Quest for the Antarctic Circle has a good chance of being achieved. The ice conditions and the weather are both unknown elements but the crew is determined to venture into the unknown. That element of discovery was enthusiastically applauded.
During diner there was further excitement as a number of hump-back whales were sighted close to the ship. The skipper slowed the ship and allowed it to drift as we passed by them. Lovely diner and Jenny and I returned to the cabin as the ship gently rocked on her way South.
Stay healthy and safe.
Cheers .. Tony