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Antarctic Peninsula Excursions - Sunday, 22 February 2015

Shore Excursions

Position - 66°51.29' S
066°48.47' W
Sea Depth - 490 metres
Sun rise - 5.51 am
Sun set - 9.27 pm

After the sea sick episode last night, it was wonderful to wake up to calm conditions and such a fabulous sight.  It was breathtaking.  We are now inside the Antarctic Circle!

We watched the sun rise over the glaciers.  Spectacular!

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There is a lot of pack ice floating by.  Fine, as long as it doesn't join up and surround us.

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This morning, thanks to Baptiste, our Butler, we were on the first zodiac travelling to Detaille Island.  Being first is good, but sometimes not so good.  When we arrived on the island, we had to make our way up to the museum in the hut at the top and as we were walking in fresh snow, we kept sinking up to our thighs.  It really was pretty funny.  Thank goodness there was staff all the way along the track to pull us out.

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The path from the water up to the snow level was very hairy.  A very narrow rock ledge, very slippery with fresh snow.  There was a staff member every couple of feet to guide us safely up the path.  On our way down, they had laid towels over the rocks and snow which made it much easier to walk on.

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Detaille Island is a former British survey base, used for geology and meteorology research.  It was evacuated in 1959 when sea ice and weather prevented access and has remained unoccupied ever since.  Much of its original contents are still in place, providing an important reminder of the science and living conditions in the 1950s.

We hopped in the zodiac for our journey back to the ship, but on the way, did a cruise through the icebergs and took some fantastic shots.  This place is magic and I can't believe I'm finally here.  I put my finger in the water.  It's freezing!

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On the way back to our cabin, we bumped into the Captain and had a little chat.  I asked him please, please, please, no more rough seas!  He said okay!

Lunched with Jeanette then back in our cabin when they announced that the gold group would be going ashore in 15 minutes.  I raced to get dressed but Phil decided to stay on board.  The zodiac took us over to an ice flow where - wait for it - the staff was serving champagne!  I mean, it doesn't get much better than this!  The sun is shining brightly and I didn't wear a hat or gloves and was boiling in my thermals and ski pants and jacket.  It was the most amazing experience.

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Now back on board having a cappucino.

We are sailing very slowly through pack ice.  It is just the most amazing sight.  The photos don't do it justice.

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We decided to order room service and have dinner in our room.  We asked Baptiste his full name - Baptiste Pierre Jean-Claude Rejnault!  How magnificent.

We have left the ice behind now and are sailing through a huge expanse of water.  I don't think we are in the open sea as it is not too rough - not like last night!

I am waiting for sunset at 9.27 pm.  What a magnificent day we have had - blue skies and sunshine.

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Posted by gaddingabout 12:35 Archived in Antarctica

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