Journey to Antarctica: South Shetlands, Half Moon Bay, & Deception Island

Chinstrap (foreground) and Gentoo (background) penguin colonies are often found in close proximity to each other. (PHOTO CREDIT: Miriam Sutton)


LAND HO!!! We have arrived at the Southern Continent!! Let’s HIKE!!!

After a quick Zodiac ride from the ship, my colleagues and I were following one of the naturalists for a hike around the island. I had to keep pinching myself as we began traversing across a snow-covered glacier. As the freshly fallen snow compressed beneath my boots, a blue footprint was revealed, reflecting the shorter lightwaves back towards my face. I hiked upward along the ridge of the island and got my first glimpse of the grandiose landscape around us. It is most difficult to describe in words. I hiked to the summit for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings and I found myself feeling very small.

In an effort to bring us back to human scale, our naturalist guided us to the final stop in our hike: a Chinstrap Penguin rookery. (See Image: Chinstrap and Gentoo) With GoPro strapped to my chest and camera in hand, I captured as many of their behaviors as I could. Most were tending to their eggs. One parent would be lying on the eggs with the other either standing close by or away from the nest, feeding. I could have spent the entire day with them. We finished the day with the Captain’s Reception as memories from our 1st day on the White Continent danced across our brains. As I drifted off to sleep, I recalled several staff members reminding me earlier today that each day will be even better than the last. I can hardly fathom that concept.

Today’s Daily Program Quote:
“They are extraordinary like children, these little people of the Antarctic world, either like children, or like old men, full of their own importance and late for dinner, in their black tailcoats and white shirt fronts —- and rather portly withal.”
— Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

Today’s Sunlight Data:
Sunrise: 0327
Sunset: 2258

The journey continues here: “Cierva Cove, Enterprise, and Danco Island”