Monday 28 February 2011

Our first glimpse of Antarctica

Yes, we made it! Tonight we crossed the famous convergence which separates the Antarctic ecosystem from the rest of the world. Now we are in Antarctic waters.

Just before lunch we first spotted land in the distance: the South Shetland Islands. And another thing that caught our attention: were the many rafts of penguins jumping in the water!

Our ship sailed through the Nelson Strait towards Livingston Island. Our destination was the tiny little Halfmoon Island where our first landing took place. Luckily, the landing site was sheltered from the strong wind and the swell was calm today.

Despite the rain we were very excited about setting foot on Antarctic terrain and exploring the area. Interesting rock formations are one of the main features of the place, together with the abundant wildlife. Two species of penguins (gentoo and chinstrap), snowy sheathbills, skuas, kelp gulls, Wilson’s storm petrels, fur seals and elephant seals – all on our first day!

Now it is getting dark outside, but as the daylight fades we can watch a beautiful sunset and the dramatic clouds that are very typical of this area.