Antarctica, Day 1

Thursday, February 2 was our first day in Antarctica.  It was a pretty ugly day, full of fog, snowstorms & 40 mph gales.  Nonetheless, your intrepid tourists spent much of the day on deck, freezing our you-know-whats off.  I told you that Patagonia & the Magellan Strait were impressive, but they can’t hold a candle to Antarctica.  Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions many of the pictures really don’t convey adequately what it looked like in person.  But here are a few to start out with, of coastline & icebergs & mountains wrapped in mist, all during a snowstorm.

04 Antarctic Peninsula

03 Antarctic Peninsula

07 Iceberg, Antarctic Peninsula 29 iceberg with surf

25 Mary with iceberg  38 Wiencke Island mountain in clouds

Stay with me, ‘cause the pictures get better as the sun came out in the afternoon.  We saw some impressive mountains, I think on Wiencke Island (I am not entirely sure of the location of many of these pictures, I took so many).

  53 mountain on coast of Antarctic peninsula 

26  iceberg 66 Mountain (in sun!)

57 mountain on coast of Antarctic peninsula 74 base of mountain & coast

72 coastline

88 coastline with mountains  97 line of mountains sunlit 95 line of mountains sunlit

105 Mary & mountains 110 rick & mountain

There was also wildlife, particularly birds on the first day, to see.  They move incredibly fast, and it is very difficult to catch a clear picture of a bird in flight.  There were a dozen or more wasted pictures for every good one below.  But I did manage good shots of a Kelp Gull (cheating a little, since this was actually shot in Ushuaia), a Giant Petrel, a Wandering Albatross (the largest seabird in the world, with an 11 foot wingspan), & the beautiful Pintendo, or Cape Petrel.  As always, you can see the captions by moving your cursor over the picture.

78 kelp gull 12 Giant Petrel

06 Wandering Albatross 15 Pintendo!!

Fans of towel animals may be wondering where they are.  Well, they stopped coming for a couple of days, then we got reruns a few days.  We are told that the laundry can’t get sufficient water in the Antarctic region, so the towel animals are the first thing sacrificed to reduced laundering.  I hope we get them back when we reach Argentina.  In the meantime, here is a ice sculpture to satisfy your artistic needs; it is a pair of hands holding a red globe centered on Antarctica.  I wish it had been made for purely artistic purposes, but in fact it was the background for a jewelry raffle & sale.

01 Ice sculpture of hands holding globe with Antarctica at center

So we went to bed the first night, hoping for better weather the next day (preview: prayers answered).

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2 responses

  1. Cecile Deaton

    Wow! the pictures are great however Mary knows how much I hate cold. I had to put gloves on to continue looking at your blog! seriously, Mary you should have knitted one of those ski masks to cover your entire face.
    Did you have hot chocolate to warm you while you were on deck?

    February 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm

  2. Barbara Bader

    Gorgeous!

    February 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

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