We left Elephant Island at breakfast time and spent the next day and a half crossing the Bransfield Strait towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
We left Elephant Island at breakfast time and spent the next day and a half crossing the Bransfield Strait towards the Antarctic Peninsula. The second day was beautiful with wall to wall sunshine. As we entered the Antarctic Sound we passed by icebergs and fragments of ice shelf that completely dwarfed our ship.
By 8pm we reached our anchor point at Brown Bluff and set foot for the first time on the Antarctic Continent amongst thousands of bemused Adelie and Gentoo Penguins. It was a spectacular location with cliffs of young volcanic rock towering above us, snow covered mountains all around us and porpoising penguins swimming though the glassy seas amongst the glacial blue ice bergs.
We walked up the side of the bluff to see rare and spectacular pillow lavas formed by
underwater volcanic eruptions - a special treat for a geology geek like me! When we headed back down across a glacier, we stopped to drink from the pure clear melt water running across the its surface. As we did, we saw the full moon rise in front of us. The sun was just setting turning the sky and the snow capped mountains pink and orange. One month ago, we first set foot on the ship with the full super moon and yesterday we set foot on the most extreme and beautiful continent in the world. It felt we had come full circle. It moved me to tears.
With the weather still calm, we weighed anchor and headed back along the Antarctic Sound as sunset moved seamlessly to sunrise without getting dark. The sky remained pink and orange for around 4 hours as we travelled back through the icebergs on mirrored seas. This was a day that will stay with me forever.