Saturday, 30 January 2010

Feathers, Ice, and Fur

Another perfect day in Antarctica. We begin to wonder why we seem to deserve this preferential treatment by the gods of the elements. In the morning we went to the Fish Islands in glorious weather and landed on a small island which was densely populated by Adelie Penguins. The rookery greeted us with its normal pungent stench, but that was forgotten soon when we saw the interesting behavior of these birds up close. Some were already moulting, most of the chicks had already reached the size of their parents, and some seemed to be preparing for their departure from the rookery already. Beside the close encounter with the penguins there was the awe inspiring scenery to enjoy.

The afternoon brought us to a very special place in the Biscoe Islands where we set out on a cruise in our Polar Cirkle Boats. We cruised between the icebergs and were dumbfounded by their sheer magnitude. As a very special extra we struck it lucky when we came across various seals. There were both Crabeater and Weddell Seals which were resting on some ice floes. They were not overly active since they usually come to shore to rest and sleep, but that gave us a wonderful opportunity to observe these magnificent animals. Indeed, it was another perfect day in Antarctica.