Sunday March 16: This is Antarctica

Photos of our first sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula

Awoken by Lynn’s announcement that we had arrived at the Antarctic Peninsula itself, but were not going ashore as planned because the sea was too choppy. Plan B: Cuverville/Danco Island. The grey and sleet gave way to snow and then to a bright, clear sky – no idea what the temperature is, and the crew don’t seem to care. As the sun peeps over the mountains, the views are stunning. We have a few icebergs and the land to the south is precipitous ice and rocky cliffs. This is Antarctica.

My hand is not nearly as sore as it was, so I should be able to climb today. First up is kayaking. We are just impatient to get in the water, but there’s procedure to go through; it has to be safe. Mattiska, the athletic Dutch guide from Oceanwide takes us through fitting the dry suit, life vest, inner gloves and outer mitts. By the time we are kitted out with our wicking layers, insulating layers and waterproof outers, we look and feel the part. I’m sure I shouldn’t be sweating like, this though.

Kayaking and Penguins

Looking at the map outside the galley on the Professor Multanovsky, Are Cuverville and Danco real islands? They seemed to be joined to the Peninsula.

Wildlife: Rock Shag, Arctic Skua, Arctic Tern, Gentoo, Cape Petrels (actually, there was a flock of them on the sea ahead of the boat as we exited Neptune’s Bellows), Fur seals.

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