DAY 5/6/7 Over the past few days we have motored steadily South through the 500 km long archipelago that is the South Shetland islands.
DAY 5/6/7 Over the past few days we have motored steadily South through the 500 km long archipelago that is the South Shetland islands. Tomorrow we will reach the Antarctic Peninsula and our highest latitude of 65 Degrees. Did I mention it is cold? Every day the crew round us up for on board or on shore activities. Exploring the Caldera of Deception Island a still active volcano or going for a swim in the "thermal" waters of the beach where steam rises from the sand.
The crew are fantastic and work so hard to make our trip special. Annukka the Marine Biologist, a marine mammal tragic, tells us what we have seen and what we might see. Antarctic fur seals, Crab Eater seals, Weddell seals, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales all spotted in the distance. No close encounters yet. Yesterday afternoon a rubber ducky jaunt through a labyrinth of icebergs and rocky outcrops allowed us to get up close and personal with a beautiful pair of Crab Eater seals "sunning" themselves on an ice flow. A visit to an abandoned whaling station was a window back into a time of extreme hardship and spartan conditions in the name of exploiting the riches of the southern oceans. Seals, whales hunted almost to extinction, the evidence bleached and weathered lying on the beach. Jaw bones 3m long, vertebrae the size of a tree stump witness to a time fortunately almost past. Celebrated last night with Pisco Sour cocktails made with 10000 year old ice.