We awoke this morning to the sounds of something scrapping and crunching along the sides of the ship. We opened our porthole and found that the sea was a soup of “bergy bits”. During the night we had made our way into Cierva Cove.
I quickly dressed and started off my day with a coffee in the bridge. There were only two other people there and enjoyed those few minutes of quiet, looking out at the mountains, glaciers and icebergs that surrounded us.
The zodiac tours were our first chance to get up close and personal with ice and I was instantly struck by how dynamic it all was! While I’m aware that glaciers flow, I guess I’ve never really stopped to think about the fluidity of ice in general. In no way were sitting and watching a stationary structure. First there were the currents and movements of the slush and bergy bits, moving and shifting through the bay. While the larger bergs appeared to be more stationary, they too were alive with the crackling of internal air bubbles popping under pressure, and it is this popping that leads to the circular holes that could be seen by the water line of many. Then there was the color! It ranged from your traditional white along a spectrum towards vibrant blues. Not what I was expecting at all!
We arrived at Enterprise Island, and found that the conditions were too choppy for our original plan of kayaking so instead we went out on zodiacs again. It was definitely a wet and wild ride, especially towards the end, but it was worth it for the view of the shipwreck.
Orne Harbor held our first Gentoo penguin colony and marks are official first steps on the peninsula (it’s all been islands prior to now). I chose the hike option which was a mile 1000 feet up to the top of Spigot Peak. It was nice to have to work a bit to get to the top and was rewarded with spectacular vistas, including Antarctica’s version of a summer sunset (that said, it’s 1:15am and it’s still fairly bright outside and sunrise is scheduled for 2:15). Other people chose not to go all the way to the top and instead sat by the “penguin highways” watching them go to and from the rookery and the ocean. The best part though was definitely the ride down. Again, bag strapped to the chest, head first and on my back is the best way to get down a hill in Antarctica!