Wednesday 27 February 2013

Our last day in Antarctica

The morning started again with sunshine and blue sky. Around 8 am we reached the Argentinean Station Esperanza in Hope Bay at the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.  

The bay got its name during the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901 – 04 when three members of this expedition had to overwinter here. The historical stone hut out of this time still exists next to the station and is really a must for historic interested passengers. All passengers were guided around by someone from the station. We experienced a very warm welcome and we enjoyed the time at the landing side. The station is mainly a military base but we got in contact with Scientifics too. We visited the Adelie penguin colony first and got later on a good overview about the life in such a big station. We had even the possibility to buy souvenirs again. 

On our way back to the ship we recognized that this would be our last landing in Antarctica. So we had to say good bye to our last Antarctic penguins. Even we will see other penguins as soon as we will reach South Georgia it was difficult to let this wonderful wilderness behind us especially under this wonderful weather conditions. Some of us made already at this moment the decision to come back at any time. 

We sailed out of Hope bay into the Antarctic Sound during lunch time. The Sound is very famous for its breathtaking and impressive tabular icebergs we had not seen before. Especially under this amazing weather conditions this afternoon will never be forgotten. 

During dinner we had a last highlight of the day. A group of Orcas showed up directly next to MV Fram and started a race with the ship. We can be so happy with all the whales we have seen during our trip until now. Later in the evening we met our expedition team in the observation lounge for a question and answer round. It has been just the right end of an unbelievable first part of our trip so far in the South.