Jan 29, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
The visceral wonder of Antarctica was in full display this morning. We began with a beach landing among the cobblestones and gentoo penguins of Cuverville Island. Being a rather large place to roam, it was easy to fan out and observe the hundreds of gentoos as they negotiated the walkways and ice chunks to reach the frigid water. Afterward, quite a few of us climbed to the highpoint of a ridge overlooking a bay strewn with icebergs. We observed clusters of nesting skuas across the rocky expanse of the shore below, taking in also the breathtaking views of distant peaks and glaciers. Down on shore, or right off it to be exact, three curious humpbacks ventured closely for our guests to observe.
While redirecting for Enterprise Island, we were pleasantly interrupted by a formidably sized group of orca. They appeared to be feeding, which made for excellent viewing and opportunities to photograph these black and white beauties.
The afternoon consisted of two rounds of travel by Zodiac within Foyn Harbor, where the half-sunk remains of the whaling ship Governoren rests, its stern entirely submerged in the icy harbor waters. Antarctic terns are the only inhabitants aboard what was in its prime one the most advanced “floating factories” for whale harvesting.
Our group approached National Geographic Orion and boarded securely, taking with us a sense of satisfaction and gratitude for our first full day exploring the Great White Continent.
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