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Antarctic Peninsula Excursions - Monday, 23 February 2015

Shore Excursions

snow 2 °C

Position - 65°10.45' S
064°07.22'W
Sea depth - 160 m
Sunrise - 5.52 am
Sunset - 9.04 pm

Had a great sleep. Woke up at some stage and felt the boat rocking and rolling, but went straight back to sleep.

We are now anchored off Petermann Island.  It is misty, overcast and lightly snowing.  Our group will be going ashore at 10.30 am.  It is 2 degrees.

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Petermann is a one mile (1.6km) island that lies southwest of Hovgaard Island, just below the Lemaire Channel.  The island was first discovered by a German expedition in 1873-74 and is named for the German geographer August Petermann.  At a cove on the southeastern side of Petermann, the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot and his vessel Pourpuoi Pas over wintered in 1909.  Chatcot named this cove Port Circumcision for the holy day 1 January on which it was discovered.  On Megalestris Hill, Charcot erected a cairn commemorating the second French Antarctic expedition.

Penguins, gentoos, blue eyed shags and south polar skuas are confirmed breeders on Petermann Island.

These guys are the first off the boat every morning, to check the conditions ashore and to find a safe landing spot for us.

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Went ashore this morning and the smell of penguin poo got us before we even landed! Phew!  But as we climbed all over the island it got less and less and by the time we boarded the zodiac to come back to the ship, we hardly noticed it at all.  It snowed the whole time we were ashore and it was just lovely.  It wasn't very cold at all, in fact I was quite hot.  I didn't even wear my gloves.  It was 2 degrees and without any wind, it is quite mild.

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We are having lunch in our cabin today and invited Lyn and Les in fro a pre luncheon drink.  Rikus wants to see us at 1.45 pm to talk about the next phase - the Chilean Fjords.

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You can't take your eyes off the scenery, or you'll miss something.  Just look at this magnificent thing!

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I went for a zodiac ride this afternoon through the 'iceberg graveyard' in Pleneau for about an hour.  There are always huge icebergs in this bay.  Phil decided to stay warm and dry on the ship.  It was freezing and it snowed all the time and my fingers were frozen stiff and it made photography difficult however I persevered and here are some of the results. 

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We saw several seals lying on icebergs and one was in the water, playing with the zodiacs.

The small island of Pleneau lies northeast of Hovgaard Island at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel.  It was first charted during Charcot's 1903-05 French Antarctic Expedition.  The island was named by Charcot for the expedition's photographer Paul Pleneau.

We are now sailing north, once we have traversed the Lemaire Channel.  The Lemaire Channel is 7 miles long and about 1 mile wide and because of its stunning scenery, is often referred to as 'kodak alley' or 'fuji fjord'.

Baptiste is such an excellent butler and has such a magnificent sense of humour, that Phil awarded him the Triple Gold Kangaroo Award. No one has ever been awarded this before!

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We had dinner in our room last night and settled down to watch a movie - The Five Year Engagement'.  Phil fell asleep at the beginning and I was left sitting up to watch it until the end.

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Posted by gaddingabout 16:49 Archived in Antarctica

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