Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Last day in Antarctica

We had a wonderful last day in the White Continent, and both our landings were on the West Antarctica Continent itself! Right after breakfast we set-foot on the small Argentinean base of Almirante Brown. Some Gentoo Penguins nest around the base and behind is a 120m/400ft high hill. We took advantage of the elevation and climbed to the top to have breathtaking views of Paradise Bay. The effort needed to do this was considerable but the slide back down on the snow was much easier and much more fun! We were then taken on a Polar Cirkle boat cruise to see a Blue-eyed Shag colony on a cliff nearby and the beautifully shaped icebergs in the bay.

After lunch we landed in Neko Harbour, named after a whaling factory vessel which operated in the South Shetland Islands for many seasons at the beginning of the 20th century and often used this harbour. A big Gentoo Penguin colony is established on the hills surrounding the sandy beach. We could observe them getting ready for the breeding season by stealing the neighbors' pebbles to build their nests. We went up the hill behind the colony to have an even better slide down than the one in the morning.