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Category Archives: Danco Island
Christmas in Antarctica is always a blast… but not much time for a lazy day sipping beer with friends and family. Up early for blast around Danco Island to play with Gentoo penguins and to work up an appetite for Christmas lunch by scaling the peak of the island to chill with the penguins which have also decided to scale the height on their short stumpy legs … actually there is a reason for that – the snow high up melts early and allows the penguins to lay their eggs at the first possible moment. Seems absurd to see the penguins climbing so high but mother nature always has a cunning plan! After Danco we did more cruising and a walk around Dorian Bay where the Minke whales came to visit … and while we were all out in the boats the ship crew were preparing the Christmas BBQ on board which finished the night with revelry, fun and much good cheer in the form of various beverages…
Last night I slept under the Antarctic midnight sunset and was lulled to sleep by the sound of Gentoo penguins trumpeting their love to potential partners. Those with the best call were busily engaged in energetic lovemaking around us while snowy sheathbills darted around the snow banks picking up unspeakable morsels left behind by the penguins. Not a great deal of sleep was had as I was in an open bivvy that seemed to be a magnet for wandering penguins that tripped over my weary bulk several times. Not too bad I guess but sleep seems to be a long lost friend right now.
The rest of he day ran like a typical day guiding and driving Zodiacs in Antarctica – Packed up the camping early to make our first landing at Port Lockroy were I ended up spending most of my time helping floundering passengers out of thigh deep snow and guiding them over slippery rocks as the tide continually retreated making boat operations difficult.
Sometime tonight we will pass over the rusting hulk of the explorer onthe sea floor where she sank 3 years ago … here’s hoping we don’t join her!
The ice is fighting back and has managed to hold us back from two landings today. As a result we were forced to restrict our activity to cruising around the ice. Pushing through heavy ice is a blast though! No time to write as I have to go and get gear ready for a night of bivvying under the perpetual Antarctic sun at Danco Island.