Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The good times just keep on rollin'

19 January 2010
Cape Burd, Tabarin Peninsula, Erebus & Terror Gulf

Another brilliant day! We awoke at Paulet Island and made landing by 8
am on the cobble beach. The sight of at least 100,000 pairs of Adelie
Penguins, along with their sounds and smells, was just an unforgettable
experience. Some of us hiked to the north side toward the Antarctic
Shag colony. Penguins were just everywhere. Sadly, though, many of them
did not have chicks or eggs. Ice was everywhere. At noon, we had a short
Zodiac cruise amongst the ice bits, before returning for lunch.

The afternoon was true expedition cruising, as we headed to the north
shore of Vega Island which is covered in waterfalls. It was true
Antarctic scenery all around, especially as we proceeded toward Duse
Bay. Last year's pack ice was loaded with Adelie Penguins, resting giant
petrels, Antarctic Terns, and the occassional Antarctic Petrel. The
barren mountains spoke to our souls of how desolate a place this is. We
were awed beyond belief, especially knowing that few voyages ever make
it to this part of the world. As legions of Adelie Penguins burst into
the water and swimming just along the edge of the ice, Linda Terrill
spotted TWO EMPEROR PENGUINS swimming with them! The hunt was on, once

It was not doable to make a continental landing at Duse Bay, since it
was blocked by almost 3 miles of ice. So, we turned toward Cape Burd. At
Cape Burd, Jim Lomax was the first of our group to make a CONTINENTAL
LANDING ON ANTARCTICA! Finally, all of us landed on this small cobble
beach. We are pretty sure that we have landed where no one else has ever
gone before us! So, we proceeded with much merriment-- a group photo,
snowballs, and snowman and snow woman were made. Lightly falling snow,
no wind, and fairly warm conditions made it all the more memorable.
Oh, yes, a Snow Petrel drifted by as an oman for our good fortune.

And, now, ladies and gentlemen, I shall join my fellow passengers and
dear Russian crew for our on deck barbeque! A toast to all!

Emperors & Empresses forever,
Debi Shearwater
On board Professor Multanovskiy at Cape Burd in the Terror & Erebus Gulf

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