Monday, 16 November 2009

Arktowski Station and Half Moon Island

Today was a spectacular one- we had sunshine from dusk till dawn.
What added hugely to the day was the almost complete lack of wind. We hope the high pressure system that created such
amazing conditions stays with us for the next few days!

Our first landing was in the Polish Arktowski Station on King Edward Island, were a Weddell Seal gave us a warm but disinterested welcome. A Leopard Seal also decided to scare our boat-catcher at the landing site. We were close to the big Adelie Penguin colony at the end of the beach and could admire the comings and goings of these little creatures as they made their way from their landing site to the colony and back.

In the afternoon we landed at Half Moon Island where spectacular scenery got everybody's attention. The backdrop of Livingston Island was truly breathtaking. Besides the Chinstrap Penguins, there were other bird species breeding on this small, crescent-shaped extinct volcano, including Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Antarctic Terns and Sheatbills.

As we sailed towards the Antarctic continent the fine weather stayed with us and the setting sun lit the ice-covered mountains of Livingston Island with a golden light- they reminded us of the look of whipped merangue.