Log - Day #6...
|A seal having a brief yawn.
February 8, 2006
Pleneau Island and Danco Island
Who knew Antarctica had so many rocks and boulders? I would have thought it was just ice and snow before coming here. I was
clearly wrong (definitely not the first time). I was thinking this as I sat high up upon iceless rocks while looking out at the sea
while at Pleneau Island – our first stop of the day.
One of my favorite parts about this island was one of the smaller areas where the penguins were hanging out to get some water.
The water was so still that there was a mirror-image reflection of the penguins. Talk about a picture-perfect moment.
Our time in this area ended with a zodiac ride through the glassy waters. And, boy, do I mean ‘glassy’ as the water radiated
images of all of the mountains and icebergs.
Speaking of icebergs, I have to say that I have developed a deep love for this little thing we call ‘ice’. Granted, it sure isn’t so
‘little’ out here. It comes in different massive shapes, colors and textures out here. It is truly an amazing part of nature that we
rarely get to see.
I’m apparently not the only one who feels this way about ice. The crab-eater seals seem to like it so much that they make their
homes on it. Our zodiac driver got us within inches of their deceivingly sweet and kind faces. It was probably in our best interest
that they appeared to be a bit tired and groggy when we were face-to-face with them. But to see these adorable creatures sitting
upon the bright icebergs with other spectacular icebergs in the background was quite astonishing.
But then we got side-tracked. Somebody in our boat saw spouting water. There was a whale in the water! It was a Minke whale.
We were switching our loyalties from the seals to the whale. The whale had gone back into the water and we weren’t quite sure
where it was. For all we knew, it could have been within meters of us. Maybe even within inches. Heck, maybe even underneath
our boat. These were just the thoughts going through my mind as there were no signs again of the Minke whale. But then he came
back into sight – and luckily, it wasn’t right next to our boat. It was out in the distance roughly 150 meters away.
At the end of every night I think that I have seen just about everything there is to see out here. And each time I am proven to be
incorrect the following day. This was definitely the case today as I really didn’t think it could get much better from the sunset last
night. But to be in a zodiac while a whale is about 150 meters away…wow!
One of the groups brought a big mass of ice back onto the boat. The bartender chipped away at it so that we could all pour our
drinks into 1000 year old ice. Who knew something so old could taste so good?
Our next and last stop for the day was Danco Island. This was named after Mr. Danco (I forget his first name). He was a Belgian
explorer who died of starvation because he refused to eat penguin meat. Gotta give it up to a man who wasn’t lying when he said
“I would rather die than eat penguin meat.” Well, I don’t know that he actually said that. But I do know that I have made
comments like that involving dogs, insects and cantaloupe. But if I was faced between life and death I would probably go against
my initial statements and eat the stuff.
Here we hiked up to the top of a hill. Much of this area was covered with ice and we were allowed to go on it. We threw snowballs.
Being a girl from California, this was quite a novelty for me. For someone like Alicia, it’s less than exciting since she lives in
Of course, there were also penguins here. Shockingly, I still haven’t tired of how adorable the penguins are. Especially since we
saw some cute ‘family portraits’ where there was a mom with two babies. I’m still a bit confused by this since moms only feed
their own babies (or at least that is what I thought) and I also thought each penguin only had one baby. Hmmm. This is a question
for the bird expert on-board.
February 9, 2007 - 7:00am
Last night is one big blur. Why do I get sucked into drinking so much? It started with one bottle at dinner. Continued with
another bottle after dinner (it is with great pleasure that I actually remember my 2 peso (~ $.60 US) wine from the supermarket
being rather good). Then we drank some more with our team during the Antarctica trivia game (where we sadly lost by one
point). Then we drank more after the game. Soon there were only about ten of us leftover. I took this opportunity to revert back
to my elementary school days when I used to swing around on the monkey bars. Instead of a monkey bar, I would use a rope that
was hanging from the poles near the ceiling. I kept trying to flip over. And trying. And trying. And trying. And then I tried a few
more times. Ralph finally aided in the eventual flipping over.
I have no idea what we all did or what we talked about. I remember meeting some new people. A couple of them were guys who
are traveling here with their fathers. One of their father’s is a traveling priest, if my memory serves me correctly. I went to bed
around 2:45am. I woke up at 6:30am.
On that note, I’m off to breakfast…
|On the Antarctic Peninsula.