Because the Polar Pioneer was so far south, it meant that sunrise was at 3:30 in the morning. I wasn’t able to get up for the sunrise, but I was on deck by 4:30 to shoot the Antarctic landscapes as our ship moved past.
Our first stop for the day was at Curerville Island. The plan was to do a short Zodiac cruise around some of the icebergs in the area and then do a landing at a Gentoo Penguin colony. The short Zodiac cruise was so interesting that it turned into a much longer cruise as Dave weaved our Zodiac through the icebergs. Then after the Zodiac ride we stopped for a couple of hours at the Gentoo Penguin colony.
The second stop for the day was Port Lockroy, a former British Antarctic research base that has been turned into a historical site and museum. Port Lockroy also has several Gentoo Penguin colonies in the area.
Two Gentoos work on their sencronized wadling
Gentoo Penguin Colony
Earlier in the voyage on South Georgia, several of the Aurora staff had freed a fur seal from at piece of netting that had been tangled around it’s neck. It took four guys, a boat paddle and a knife to get the job done. At Port Lockroy I got to do my part to free a tangled animal and risked life and limb to rescue a penguin who had tangled himself in some string. Ok, it might not have be as dangerous as helping the fur seal, but I could have been poked with his beak or given a vicious head slap from his stumpy little wings.
Little Gentoo is into bondage?
When I had told my friends that I was going to Antarctica, the first thing everyone wanted to know was if I was going there to ski. But no, I was going for the photography. When we were at Port Lockroy I looked up at the side of one of the mountains lining the bay and saw several people skiing down the mountain. Crap, I wish I had brought my skis.
Skiers in Antarctica
After leaving Port Lockroy the Polar Pioneer headed for our final location of the day by sailing down the Lemaire Channel. As our ship sailed toward the end of the channel we could see that the way looked blocked by a large area of pack ice and I thought that the ship might have to turn around. But the Polar Pioneer with it’s ice strengthened hull was able to plow right through.
Or final location for the day, a Zodiac cruise around some massive icebergs at Pleneau Island.
The Polar Pioneer looks tiny in the Antarctic landscape.
One of the other Zodiacs seen through a hole in an iceberg.
The day ended with a barbecue and party on the rear deck of the ship. Because of the long Antarctic day, it was still somewhat light outside at midnight with I headed in to go to bed. This turned out to be my busiest day for taking photos with 2136, which really was not that many compared to a couple of the other photographers.