Sunday, 30 December 2012

Join in

There have been lots of superlatives in this blog. Writing about today it is tempting to add more. But it would not describe this day properly. Because to all of the superlatives about wildlife, scenery and beauty there was something extra, something special today. And that cannot be expressed by nicer and bigger words. It is more about something that happens inside, deep inside. It happens to individuals every day. Just today there were many onboard that had this special impression. As many that it was possible to feel it "in the air". A feeling of very close connection to the nature surrounding us. A feeling of being a real part of it, free of the loads that the usual daily life in the 'world at home' is presenting.

We saw Humpback Whales and Orcas in the Errera Channel moving around the ship, diving and showing up again. We could hear their breathing and see the giant bodies move gently in the water. Further in the Channel we stopped at Neko Harbour for a landing. On every rocky patch there were Gentoos breeding and all the time there are others on the "penguin highways" between nests and shore. There were lots of ice chunks, bergies and a few ice bergs in the small bay and while we were ashore we witnessed several more calvings of the glacier. One falling part of the glacier caused a set of waves rolling onto the opposite beach where we were. One of the waves around two meters high.

From Neko Harbour we went on through the nearby Paradise Bay. It was surprisingly silent on the ship. Many passengers were standing on decks 5 and 7 being totally attracted by the mountains and glaciers around. Three hours later we arrived at the northern end of Lemaire Channel. While we went through the channel there were just small comments on the decks like "What did I do to deserve this beauty". The upper part of the mountains was hidden in clouds but here and there we could see snow covered peaks through some holes in the clouds. In the channel there were again chunks and bergs of ice but still leaving enough space for us to manoeuvre in-between them to the southern end of Lemaire Channel. Passing by some impressive arched icebergs we turned northward towards the Drake Passage.

That is what we saw. The atmosphere on Fram and the feelings deep inside most of us are far beyond words. It is more like joining in to the nature's own heartbeat.