Friday 4 February 2011

Four seasons in a four hours landing

Last night around midnight we passed the Antarctic Convergence and that means: we have reached our travel-destination - Antarctica. In the morning the sea has been a little bit rough, but the wind was blowing from the aft, so that we did not feel the waves too much. While the German speaking passengers had the possibility to visit our captain on the bridge, the others used the opportunity to clean their backpacks and jackets. We wanted to be sure, that there are no seeds in our outdoor equipment that could bring any change to the Antarctic nature.

Around three o’clock we reached Deception Island, our destination for the afternoon. The wind was blowing very strong, it was foggy and snowy, and really not the weather we wished for our first landing.

Our sail through the very narrow Neptune’s Bellows, was the entrance to the caldera of Deception Island. It was spectacular and our captain did an excellent job. From the ship we had a nice view of the former whaling station and the ruins of the British Research Station. All the buildings were destroyed in the volcanic eruption in 1969.

Our swimmers were looking forward to this landing, as this is one of the best bathing beaches in Antarctica. Our Scandinavian passengers made a competition out of it. We had a total of 38 swimmers and all of them had a lot of fun.

Others of us enjoyed the wonderful landscape in Whaler’s Bay with the spectacular colors. Iron and sulfur in the volcanic ash brought nice red, brown and yellow color in the otherwise dark gray surroundings. Sun, snow, wind and fog were constantly changing during our landing, so that we had four seasons in only four hours.

After a tasty Scandinavian buffet the crew is singing for us in the Observation Lounge. What a surprise, that we have such a talented crew!