Antarctica made headlines not too long ago when a huge iceberg broke off and now is drifting off the continent. The one trillion ton iceberg, measuring 5,800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12 2017.
Global warming is on your mind when you go the polar regions of our world. Frozen but still rich in wildlife, life depends on the cold temperatures. Krill is the main source of food here.
There are some commercial fisheries going on, Ice fish, Patagonian Toothfish (sold as Chilean Sea Bass) and yes: Krill. Stocks are good so far and hopefully the krill fishing is not damaging to the eco system. Norway and Japan still kill whales here, and while they say it is for scientific purposes everybody knows that the whale meat is sold for human and animal consumption.
It took us two days to cross from South Georgia Island to the South Shetlands Islands and then on to the Antarctic Peninsula. The days at sea are by no means boring, there are presentations and lectures several times a day. We made new friends and met interesting people on this trip.
It was an international group, most guides spoke several languages and one of the guides spoke fluent Chinese. Naturally he spent a lot of time with the Chinese passengers which were very happy about that. While not all of our Chinese fellow passengers spoke English, I enjoyed talking to the girls. They adored our young guides. Dressing up for photo ops was very important and we had some good laughs with them.
One nice evening the crew put on a big BBQ on the back deck, another evening – on the back deck we had a beer tasting competition and Glühwein to warm up again after the cold beer. Haha, good thing the boat was stuck in the ice and did not rock, so we made it back to the cabin without bouncing off the walls.
We both liked spending time on the bridge, a familiar place for us since we make our living and spend a lot of time on our boat. The captain, from Russia, did a great job handling this ship, it was interesting to watch the crew do their job. They are always on the lookout for icebergs and for things that might be interesting to the passengers and would point out some whales or birds.
The penguins climb very high and breed up there
Tonight we will celebrate !
We were part of the group “Wild”, here we wait for our group to be called down to the zodiacs for another trip to the icy wonderland.
The boot washing station, coming and going we had to disinfect our boots to prevent introducing new organisms from one place to another.
Sometimes you move faster when gliding and sliding.
Skuas are always looking for lost chicks, dead or weak adults.
They are sitting on eggs, the nests are made of pebbles.
Headstand with penguins.
I love this picture.
I am giving the chinstrap penguin the right of way, they always have the right of way.
Chinstrap penguin rookery. The highest slopes are the most popular because they become ice-free first and they use their beak and claws to reach seemingly improbable spots.
A chinstrap for sure.
Fred decided to join Günter.
This guy carried a single pebble back down to the beach, who knows why?
in the South Shetland Islands, with one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. This island is the caldera of an active volcano, which seriously damaged local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969. The island previously held a whaling station;
Blue eyed shags.
One of our fellow passengers (from China), selfie time again.
I really liked this place for some reason.
THE POLAR PLUNGE
Many people signed up for the “polar plunge”, the water was – 1° C (30° F)
The trip back was rough and wild and beautiful!