Matt & Emmy in Antarctica & Easter Island travel blog

Icebergs and sea ice

Adiele Penguin

We arrived in the South Orkney Islands today after our crossing from South Georgia. The sea surrounding the South Orkneys was surrounded by icebergs - most sea ice, which was in the process of breaking up. Pieces bounced off the ship, which was more than a bit disconcerting at first. However, the ship is hardened for the ice and we got used to the grinding and bumping sounds. Our landing today was the first in the true Antarctic - south of 60 degrees latitude, which is the area covered by the Antarctic treaty. We landed at Shingle Cove and met our first Adiele penguins, which are the most stereotypical penguins - pure black and white, and full of attitude. The colony we saw had approximately 3,000 breeding pairs +/- 10% - our two researchers from Oceanites did a count while we tourists wandered about.

The weather is most definitely colder down here - now it hovers near 32F during the day, and drops significantly at night. Night, however, really has no meaning anymore - the sun does set around midnight but it rises at about 3 a.m., and the sky never gets dark - the darkest it gets is kind of a mid-twilight.

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