Tuesday, February 21, 2017

20th February 2017 - Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour

This morning we were meant to be visiting Orne Harbour however the expedition team decided the conditions were too dangerous for the passengers to land.

Instead we were taken on a Zodiac cruise around Cuverville Island. There were plenty of crab eater seals on view either resting on a mini-iceberg or playing in the water. Only one seal seemed slightly bothered by our presence so our Zodiac pilot gave that seal a wide berth.   By the way the following photo of a couple of other crab eater seals was taken with an ordinary little camera, we really were that close.

The ice formations are spectacular.  There is white, blue and green ice. The blue and white ice are down to differing structures, the blue ice acting as a prism for the light.  My following photo shows streaks of the blue ice in the white ice.

Our Zodiac pilot picked up some blue ice from the water but in this amount it didn't look very blue. The green ice is such because of the moss growing on it.

In the afternoon we went to Neko Harbour and the Zodiacs took us ashore. I found it very difficult to manoeuvre over the rocks leading to the path up to the Gentoo penguins. At one point, after nearly falling twice, I found a rock to sit on while I decided what to do next. A kind member of the crew helped me to walk across to one of the areas where the penguins were. I sat on another rock and watched what was going.  As usual the penguins didn't obey the rule the humans have of staying 15 feet apart.

Today was extra special in that it was the first day Ruth and I stood on the Antarctic mainland.

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