Sunday, 16 January 2011

Seventh Heaven

Oh, and northbound through the Lemaire yesterday evening? More humpbacks, minkes, a dozen crabbies snorting and puffing around our boats, and one of the leopard seals vocalizing audibly with a trilling whistle as we approached…are you kidding?!?

Almirante Brown Station, Paradise Bay. For many this was No. 7, the Seventh Continent, our first footsteps on Continental Antarctica. Today we would be treated not to brilliant sunshine, but to dramatic metallic skies that parted in timely fashion to allow heavenly sunbeams to radiate selected mountains and glaciers. The contrast in light and texture was glorious, all the more so as the setting was Paradise Bay.

For the ultimate view we clambered and crawled
Up the steep slope to the height.
We ooohhed and aaawwed,
Took a seat and yee-haaawed,
And slithered back down without fright!

To ply the waters of Wilhelmina Bay is another highlight of any Antarctic expedition. We spent the afternoon here in the company of humpbacks and seals, glaciers and shipwrecks, before returning to the Gerlache Strait and sailing north for tomorrow’s adventure in Antarctic Sound.