|Antarctica is defined as “all land and ice shelves south of 60 degree South. During the night, we crossed over into Antarctic waters. This area is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science in 1959. As such, we are no longer on a cruise but have become an Antarctic expedition. Only expeditions are allowed below the 60 degree parallel.
The weather is windy and cold (near 32 degrees). Standing or sitting outside is out of the question. We finally spot chairs by an inside window and spend the afternoon enjoying the view. As we travel down the Bransfield Strait, we start to see large icebergs floating in the water. Antarctic icebergs are not usually carved from glaciers, but consist of portions that have broken away from the great ice shelves which form around the Antarctic continent during its winter (Apr – Oct).
We sail on a southerly course past the Esperanza Station (Argentina). The all red buildings seem pretty lonely until we realize that they surrounded by large colonies of Adelie penguins. We understand that there are 35 children living at the station. They live there for a year and then return to Argentina with an understanding that their country has a part claim to Antarctica.