Zodiac cruising (Kassi Magruder)
I wake up to a winter wonderland. More than a foot of heavy powder has fallen on every surface of the ship. This bodes well for us skiers as we plan on making our first ascent tomorrow. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, fruit and anything else delicious that I can shove in my mouth, we learn that we will be making our first Antarctica landing today! The skiers meet in the lounge to discuss our first foray into the great white. We make sure we have all of our gear readied and wait with baited breath as the One Ocean Navigator pulls closer to shore. Then, we walk down the gang plank to where the zodiac awaits, full of our skis, poles and backpacks. We zip across the open water and pull the zodiac up on the ice. Everyone unpacks the zodiac and lays their gear out, going through the familiar backcountry skier routine of getting ready. We skin up to the top of a small mountain, dig a snow pit and assess snow stability. Everything looks good to go, so we make a few turns and ski down to where we left the zodiac. A few chinstrap penguins are inspecting our belongings at the landing site, wondering what the harnesses and ropes are. We make another lap or two and then we have to leave the ice to return to the ship for dinner. Life goal #714: (ski in Antarctica) is complete!
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