Monday, February 15, 2010

Antarctica Cruise Day 4 Antarctic Peninsula - Brown Bluff & Joinville Island

Feb. 2 Brown's Bluff and Joinville Island We passed the end of the Antarctic Peninsila to pass between it and some islands, bound for Paulet Island farther south. The area we are passing called Iceberg Alley and deserves the name - monster after monster. But the report at Paulet is for Southerly winds at 35 knots and it's totally exposed. Not a fit for tourists like us. So we turn first to the day's second destination - Brown Bluff on the Antarctic mainland - bluffs up to 750 m or 2300 feet. Brown skuas and cape petrels were around at we got to shore. We went ashore with good boat landing and entry. In snow blown by 20 to 30 mph winds we walked the beach. Gentoos nest low, while Adelies make a heroic climb to where the rocks are first cleared of snow. We were satisfied by a 30-minute walk in the wind-driven snow. Back on the ship for lunch and repositioning we saw a pod of about a dozen orcas (They are now regarded as the largest dolphin, not a whale.) This population varies from our North Pacific variety by being smaller. They also carry a green tinge on their coat, but that's a parasite, not genetic. In the afternoon to Kennis Bay on Joinville Island; it has a bay facing west which is good for the southerly wind. Before going ashore the conditions look even stormier than this morning. But on the water and on shore it not as bad. Land on rock ledges, but not slippery and we had to scramble over some snow. As we approached the shore in the zodiac a leopard seal was in the water very close! A couple hundred gentoos down low. Thousands of Adelies nest above. Some are 200, 300, even 400 feet above the sea. This landing was more pleasant, since it had less wind. Dr. Earl Palmer of National Presbyterian Church spoke on The Meaning of Freedom. Photos both take at Brown's Bluff by Corinthian II crew/staff and myself: Chinstrap penguin. Gentoo penguin adult and chick in the snowstorm. That's us, Gini with her fur lined hood, me behind with my Icelandic wool hat under my hood.


Unknown said...

We were in 12-day cruise in same location. I don't remember right name of this cruise but it was from Something for 7000$ per person. It's a great place, very exotic, do you agree with me ? There is no similar place in the world.

Unknown said...
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