|This journal is constructed as one web page for each day of my journey, including the arrival day in Auckland, and the final two days, which I spent in Hobart. I have tried to keep the picture images of a reasonable size for easy web page loading. To see a much larger view of (practically) any image, just left-click on the photo.|
I thought I might sleep through breakfast today, but
the ship was rolling quite a bit and I couldn't sleep (it would get much worse
in later days). It was a very gray day, with poor visibility and little
chunks of ice scattered about. The ice on the rolling ocean looked
cool as the swells would pass by. We have seen some new birds - Cape
Petrels and Fulmars.
We do continue to see the Snow
Early on, we got sight of Sturge, the southernmost of the Balleny Islands. At first, I had thought that the cliffs were dark clouds! We passed by Cape Smyth and had a good view of it before the clouds thickened. A bit later, the clouds lifted a bit and we got a great panoramic view of the coast of Sturge.
of the weather, it was a lazy day. We did have a couple of very
interesting talks in the afternoon. Rod and Marg talked about
Mawson's hut. Rod was in a party that visited in the 1970s, as
best I recall. Marg had sailed down to the Antarctic coast, some
years ago, in a small boat, with two others, and visited the site of
Mawson's hut. Both had some slides to show us. We won't get
anywhere close to Mawson's Antarctica campsite, but his is a fascinating
story. Later, our resident doctor, Steve, gave a talk on how
vitamin deficiencies contributed to the death of Mertz, in Mawson's
party, as well as Evans, in Scott's party.
At about 6 p.m., local time, we got an announcement that there would be some zodiac cruises over to Sabrina Islet, where there is a mixed colony of Adelie and Chinstrap penguins, the latter which we have not yet seen. The visibility was low, but the ocean was calm. Not everyone decided to take this opportunity, but it turned out to be yet another highlight of this trip.
We went out in six boats at a time (more than usual), and in two waves. David and I were in the second wave, which left at about 7 p.m. That turned out well, because we weren't pressed for getting back, so our touring lasted longer. Also, we got into Tim's boat. Tim has a lot of experience and is a first-rate driver - he got in very close to the ice, and even took the opportunity to circumnavigate all the way around Sabrina (a first for him, and, of course, for all of us). What fun.
There were penguins everywhere here. The are lined up along the high ridge here, giving the islet something of a hairy look to it! We saw a few of the Chinstrap penguins, but mostly there are Adelies here. There was a rumor of at least one Macaroni penguin here, but we didn't see it.
It was a fascinating place, and made all the more so by
the heavy overcast. It really was quite otherworldly. We got to get
in very close to the floating bergs here and see the penguins up close.
And, I still don't understand the physics of the blue colored ice. Since
it is cloudy, with no sun shining through, how is this possible? Well, I
will have find out some day.
Because of the late tour of Sabrina, we got a very late start on dinner - excellent, as usual. And, then, we began to watch the Shackleton series, with Kenneth Branagh, that was on A&E a year, or so, ago. Great stuff.
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