¡Muy buenos días Antárticos!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2012
64Trip End Apr 01, 2013
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Our morning landing was scheduled for a place called Hydrurga Rocks, home to small colonies of Chinstrap penguins and also a likely site to spot seals. The sun was shining and there was no wind as we made our way by zodiac from the ship - very different weather to the previous day thankfully!! The island was very small so easy to cover in a short period. The main attraction was the various different Chinstrap colonies, where we saw a number of very young chicks being fed by their parents. Each colony had a very different character which became obvious as we observed each of them
There were also some very lazy Weddell seas sleeping on the islands. They weren't particularly bothered by us, and all they really did was raise a head every once in a while, perhaps winking as they looked curiously at the many people snapping away at them.
After the morning activities, the ship set sail again for our next destination. None of us knew how far we had to go, only that we would be climbing to the top of a glacier so we could see a spectacular view along a channel which was formed by the Antarctic peninsula on one side, and islands on the other. There then followed much guessing as we sailed along as to which of the many glaciers we saw which we felt were scalable
The sun had disappeared during the sailing, but with no rain or snow. We landed on the main beach, amidst many gentoo penguins who were hanging around on the shoreline. There then followed a steep-ish hike from the beach through layered snow up to the top of the glacier. This went alongside (but not on) some very well formed penguin highways. You can always tell a penguin highway because it is inevitably stained pink or brown from their poo - something to do with the krill or fish they eat. Anyway, it was highly amusing to see them hurrying along as fast as there little legs could take them, and quite often landing on their bellies when they clumsily tripped!!
The view from the top of the Errera Channel was spectacular and well worth the climb up. All around there were huge glaciers visible, mostly on the Antarctic peninsula but also on the islands in the channel. Huge icebergs floated in the channel with the most beautiful turquoise water around the submerged part of its base. There were even penguin colonies located towards the top of the glacier - very exposed, and a location where they must truly get battered during any storms
Coming back down was a whole lot more fun as we could do most of it on our bums, sliding down through the snow!! Avoiding the penguin highways of course, and any stray penguins who may have found themselves slightly too far from their colonies. I chose to walk a little more as the view over the Channel was just too nice to rush, and I was also keen to see the colonies further away from the path as they had easily the most picturesque spot.
Reaching the beach again wasn't the end of the landing though as the crew had spotted whales in the channel and we did a short zodiac cruise around the base of the icebergs. During this, my boat we lucky enough to see 2 different humpback whales, one of which dived down in the most perfect position as it flicked its tail right in front of the Ushuaia, which I managed to capture on my camera!! Very lucky indeed...and a great end to another fantastic day!!