Passport Stamps and Whale Watching

Trip Start May 20, 2010
1
118
195
Trip End Sep 05, 2011


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Where I stayed
Antarctic Dream

Flag of Antarctica  ,
Monday, February 14, 2011

DOMINIQUE HERE:

Day : 273
Temperature : 3 Degrees
Weather : Some sunshine

Antarctica Day Seven - Port Lockroy and Whale Watching

On Day Seven of our Antarctica expedition we woke up to much better weather. There wasn't a bright blue sky but there were certainly patches of blue. Everybody was pleased.

Our first stop of the day was at Port Lockroy, the British research base, post office, and shop....what else?! Here we would have our passports stamped with an Antarctica Stamp and send some postcards back to the UK...trust the British to have a post office down here!!

We had some company in the bay by a British Naval ship, and so Port Lockroy was a busy little island that day. Unfortunately, I'd woken up a little dehydrated that morning and so I'd downed over a litre of water as well as two cups of tea. I realised this wasn't such a great plan when on the island and I became desperate for the loo. As discretely as I could, I managed to ask if I could be taken back to the ship for a bathroom visit, and within a few minutes I was being whisked back to The Antarctic Dream by the Antarctic Stig. Unfortunately, my cover was blown to much embarassment when Antarctic Stig called on the radio..."Maximo para el Puente, Maximo para el Puente...tengo una pasajera para el bano.."  In other words, " Maximo to the Bridge, Maximo to the Bridge, I have a passenger who needs to go the bathroom"........clear as day for all the guides, passengers, crew and the bridge to hear! Marvellous, now everybody and the Captain are all aware that Dom messed up and needs to be brought back for the bathroom! Mind you, I didn't feel quite as bad as the chap who got told off for going for a pee behind a rock on one of the islands!! He became known amongst the passengers as "The pisser"....let's hope I didn't succumb to the same fate!

After a few minutes, and with much relief, I was being taken back to Port Lockroy where we picked up more passengers as we were being taken across a little channel to another island where we would see some whale bones...a sad reminder of a time when whaling was common practice in this region. In addition there were also the compulsory penguins and some Antarctic Cormorants on the island as well. Once again we managed to have another argument with The Penguin Kicker and the Knob Rodder, and it became a standing joke that they may be trying to kidnap a penguin to make penguin feet soup....such was their lack of respect for the wildlife down here that it wouldn't have been a surprise if it was true!

In the afternoon we sailed through a huge bay where humpback whales are known to feed. Within a short space of time whales were spotted in the distance spouting water into the air and mass panic ensued when everybody ran outside in whatever they were wearing (mostly t-shirts and trousers.....definitely not antarctic gear) desperate to get a glimpse of these magnificent animals. We zig-zagged up and down the bay for a couple of hours with many of the passengers out on deck, shivering in the cold but refusing to go indoors to get warmer clothes, snapping away, eager to capture the moment. Suddenly the whales appeared incredibly close to bow of the ship, and we realised that this must be a real treat when even the captain abandoned the bridge to come down to the bow to get some photos! In fact, they were so close that you could even hear them breathing. Within five minutes or so they arched their backs, their tail fins lifted spectacularly out of the water and they were gone on another dive. Fantastic!

All passengers were happy passengers as another day in Antarctica came to an end.


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