Sunday, 10 January 2010

Cuverville Island and Port Lockroy

¨Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Cuvervile Island and a beautiful day. It does not get any better than this,¨ were the first words spoken this morning by our fearless leader Anja. Our first landing of the day was at beautiful Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of nesting gentoo penguins. Penguins were moving to and from the water, tending their newly-hatched chicks or chasing away skuas that lingered at the edge of the rookery site. Several skuas attempted to eat Manuel´s hat. A leopard seal made a brief appearance cruising around offshore. Every so often, there was a loud cracking sound as an iceberg split or dropped off pieces into the water.

We sailed through the stunning Neumayer Channel and took a lot of photographs. Some Orcas cruised past with several young ones. The afternoon found us at the British Base of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. This was a double landing, with a short landing at nearby Jougla Point, home to more gentoos and nesting cormorants with babies and several whale skeletons. The base offered a small gift shop where we were able to spend our money on souvenirs, including t-shirts and hats, books and maps, and other Antarctic related materials. The four ladies manning the museum were more than happy to answer our many questions about what it was like to live in Antarctica. It was also like stepping back in time, to realize what it must have been like to actually live at a working base circa the 1940s.