Seabourn Antarctica and Patagonia Dispatch November 29, 2013

published

“Most amazing day I’ve ever had in my life”

“Made the entire trip!”

“Do I have to go back to the ship?”

These were some of the comments coming out of our zodiacs as we left Cuverville Island and returned back to Seabourn Quest. We had had a spectacular day: sun shining, warm temperatures, incredible scenes of icebergs and snow-covered mountains. The main wildlife attraction of the day was thousands of gentoo penguins. We saw them courting, mating and building their nests. The penguin highway paralleled our own footpath so we managed to get some great pictures of penguins walking to and fro. Our expedition leader greeted us shore side and gave us some directions as to where we could go. He also mentioned that a hike up and slide down of the hill behind the landing site was an option. Many of us took the opportunity to climb up a snowy hill and sled down on our backsides. Great fun!

It seems as though two-thirds of the ship was up all last night. As we entered the Gerlache Strait, we came into a winter wonderland. It was all made better by the clear blue skies and sun. We were all hoping for a pod of killer whales or humpbacks. No whales but a huge number of icebergs.

11-29-1 Anvers Island

For those of us who weren’t ashore, Chuck Kennicutt lectured on “Why is Antarctica Cold? Is Antarctica the “Canary in the Coal Mine” of Global Warming? Wolfgang Kaehler also gave a photographic workshop.

Our expedition operations ended on Cuverville at around 5 pm. We packed up, and the ship started its voyage back up to King George Island. Our team of naturalists spread out all over the ship looking out on the water and hoping to see a whale or two. Many of us have seen enough penguins to satisfy us for awhile --- we now want to see killer whales!

11-29-3 gentoos on Cuverville

While we were sailing, our Hotel Department put on a Seabourn Signature Epicurean Feast by the pool. A beautiful ice bar and caviar station was set up. We drank champagne and admired the views before moving into dinner. We are all happy that Seabourn Quest is our ship, not Shackleton’s Endurance. It’s a lot more comfortable on this sailing vessel!

Mary T. Martin, Naturalist/Zodiac Driver

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