South America and Antarctica travel blog

0625 (6:25 AM) in the Gerlache Strait.

There are not many pax about at this point. How nice it...

 

 

 

At 0630 we passed some penguins on an iceberg.

 

 

 

 

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0731 Still no takers on the pool.

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0826 A Russian ship.

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0846 I thought our way out was blocked by the iceberg, but...

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0926 I am not sure what was causing all the ripples around...

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0957 Rugged beauty.

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1026 Looking back.

1157 This would be part of the Neumayer Channel. It looked rather...

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1222 Same picture cropped and enhanced. Note the other penguins below the...

1222 Another version of the same photo.

1223 The reflections through this area were amazing and the photos don't...

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1229 More penguins. Again be sure to look below the surface.

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1233 This was one of the prettiest areas and also had the...

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1234 Looking toward the starboard side of the ship. The channel walls...

1241 This is on the port side.

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1243 Looking forward.

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1253 Looking forward to starboard.

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1254 Looking back at the channel we have come through.

1421 Argentina's Brown Station?

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1427 Carol and Joyce enjoying the view and the sun, but not...

1430 Carol and Jim. Does Carol look cold?

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1504 Some pictures from Paradise Harbour.

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1522 Carol and Joyce find a warm place to enjoy the view....

1545 This was taken from Skywalkers, Deck 16, through the glass. I...

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1551 A view looking forward from Skywalkers.

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1602 Back out on deck.

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A pano looking forward.

A pano looking forward.

 

A pano from Neumayer.


From the Princess Patter: "Throughout the night we continued down the Bransfield Strait which runs down the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Strait separates the Palmer Archipelago from the Danco coast and is around 2.5 miles wide at its narrowest. We will continue right down, into the Gerlache Strait which will mark the most southerly point of our passage at 65° south. From there we will start to head back north again, up the Neumayer Channel towards Intercurrence Island."

This was an amazing area! There were rocky, snow covered mountains on both sides with many, many glaciers. Although, there were low clouds they were somewhat broken so we had some good light and at times even some sunshine, not at all like yesterday. The air was clear and there was little wind so it was a wonderful day for viewing and taking pictures. This land is severe, stark, and forbidding, yet it is magnificent beyond belief!

During the night the Captain had kicked up the speed to avoid a storm that was packing 70 knot winds. This got us into the area much earlier than expected. I just happened to wake up early and went on deck to find we had already arrived and were surrounded by stark beauty. At 0630, even though sunrise had occurred a little after 0400, the sun stayed low enough at this latitude to give some nice light both when I first went out as well as at times later.

We again saw a good deal of wildlife throughout the day starting with penguins on ice bergs. Although I did not see all of them our on board naturalists pointed out 2 or 3 different kinds of penguins, 2or 3 kinds of whales, seals, and different birds.

After loitering awhile at the 65 degree point we carefully made our way into the Neumayer Channel. This was quite narrow, but also quite deep. The captain and crew skillfully maneuvered this massive ship through the very narrow channel very gracefully. This area was even more spectacular.

Completing our circumnavigation of Wiencke Island we were still ahead of schedule so Captain Calabrese took us into Paradise Harbor. This is also a beautiful area of rocks, ice, and snow. After spending some time there we returned to Gerlache Strait and headed northward.

This was surely the highpoint of this cruise. Fantastic!!!

*******************************************

From the Log of the Cruise:

"At sea/Gerlache Strait/Neumayer Channel Friday 2nd February 2007

Throughout the night we headed slowly down the Bransfield Strait, passing Intercurrence Island early in the morning. We entered the Gerlache Strait at 0430 and spent the remainder of the morning cruising down the scenic channel, picking our way through the numerous icebergs. Shortly before 1000 we reached the bottom of the Gerlache Strait and nosed our way into Flanders bay to 65° - the very edge of our operational limits. We then proceeded to round Cape Errera on the southern tip of Weicke Island round into the southern entrance to the Neumayer Cahnnel, passing the small British base of Port Lockroy where Antarctica's only Post Office is located. For the next few hours we enjoyed a beautiful leisurely cruise up the channel, breaking through patches of light Rind Ice on our way. At 1312 we exited the channel to the north of Cape Astrup and, as we had time in hand, we crossed the Gerlache Strait into the Bryde Channel to make our way in as far as Paradise Harbour. The bay is the location of Argentina's Brown base and once at the end, we turned round and headed back out into the Berlache Strait where we set northeasterly courses towards Deception Island."



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