There was much discussion yesterday about going onto the continent for the first time, I went with it, but I would say that we have been on the continent every day. From the perspective of having done seven, exactness to me mattered. I am now stuck with the reality that I will have to go one day to Madagascar and the Seychelles isles as these islands are not considered to be part of any continent. So perhaps in the future I will visit them. But, regardless of exactness, to everyone yesterday, it was the first day on the continent, Antarctica proper. We were at Port Lockroy in the morning, where there was a a great museum and landing,. But the afternoon provided my highlight, a walk up )I am guessing here) a 300-350 foot cliff face via snow to see some amazing views of Paradise Harbor.
While the day provided great sun it also provided high winds and they became obvious in paradise harbor. We zodiacd around packs of ice to reveal spectacular views of a stunning glacier, Leopard seals, Crab Eater Seals, and Weddell Seals. For all you bird lovers, we saw many cliff nests of the native birds. In the boats however we all seemed to freeze, and I mean freeze. What made the situation a bit better was the spraying of water over the bow of the Zodiac. To really understand this, when I say bow it helps to picture the Zodiac: Small Pontoon boat, about 10 of us sit on the (2) pontoons, the floors are tin / aluminum or something like that and a driver stands at the rear and operates the outboard. So after cruising around the bay we had to then get out of the Zodiac and back onto the ship. I should add to do this the zodiac has to tie up to the boat and then we step up onto the platform while our friends, the wind, and waves make the Zodiac rock up and down. Now this had been difficult the day before because of the snow, today in the bright sun it was the wind that made it hard, how hard you ask? Well you had to time the waves, grab a Russian sailors’ arm, and put you hand on the shoulder of the driver. OK Simple Enough, sure, it is the warnings with these things that get to you, warnings like, do not grab the rail of the stairs grab the sailors arm-because if a big wave hits the Zodiac will rise up a perhaps you are will break your arm or worse.
I stocked up on carbs at dinner that night and then waited for the decision on camping. The decision was unfortunately a no go as there were high winds and our camping position would be exposed. The next attempt will be tonight.
I am looking out the window as I type this and it is snowing with mild winds so I hope that we will be able to make a go of the camping today and I am also hoping for mainland camping but regardless it will be on the continent. I hope everyone has a great Monday back home and don’t worry about me freezing here as from what I have heard it is colder there than it is here. This morning it is : -0.7 degrees Celsius with snow flurries and near calm winds.
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