Day Five: November 24, 2013
Even though the weather was comfortable, by 7:00 AM fog had set in. Our naturalists and photography coaches Mariano, Wolfgang, Ignacio, Dan, Jason, David, Matt, and Alex were out on deck all morning in any case watching the cape petrels and prions coast around the ship in the fog. By mid-morning we had even heard the exhaled breath of a whale nearby.
Tracking the ship on a chart in Seabourn Square, we watched closely as we sailed over deep water, into the Drake Passage, and across the Antarctic convergence, where cold polar water and warm Atlantic water mix. This new seascape provided a sighting of a grey-headed albatross and even a rare Arnoux’s beaked whale which appeared for only a brief ten seconds. Chuck, Jason, and Roger prepared us for our first glimpse of the frozen Antarctic with three lectures on the ice and seas of the region throughout the day.
With the air temperature and the sea temperature both dropping, the excitement for Antarctica is building. The fog broke by the evening and revealed a gorgeous southern ocean vista. We put on our parkas and hats to have dinner out on deck and saw our first confirmed humpback whales swim past. The long Southern Ocean sunsets left orange and gold in the sky for hours and meant there was some light until late in the evening. We all headed to bed excited about the prospect of our first sightings of ice in the morning.
~ Chris Srigley, Assistant Expedition Leader
And speaking of exhausted…our Antarctic Ambassador Arty caught a few Zs on the sun deck. (He’s the only one who thinks of this weather as balmy!)
(Above: This Wilson’s Storm Petrel was found exhausted on deck. After a rest he’s ready to fly free.)
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