Skiing the peninsula (Kassandra Miller)
Today's land excursions take us to Orne Harbor and Wilhelmina Bay. The skiers make landing in Orne Harbor, gear up and skin up a ridge line to the top of a small mountain. We can't believe it, but we watch as Gentoo Penguins waddle up the mountainside, making nests at the top of the ridge where the rock is exposed. They prefer to build their nests in these conditions, on more solid ground. We strip off our climbing skins and watch as each skier descends the mountain. When it's my turn, I drop in and make my way down. The snow is a bit heavy as the weather has been warm the past few days. Toward the end of my descent, I make a turn and hear a strange "pop" in my left knee. I immediately know something is wrong. Our expert Kiwi ski guides, Paul Aubrey & Sean Brooks, are by my side in a flash. Knee injuries are not to be underestimated when it comes to skiing, so I hobble off to the zodiac with Paul and head back to the ship. The doctor on board suggests no more skiing for me and I know he's right. At the time, we decide it might be a meniscus tear, but I find out when I return home that I tore the ACL, requiring surgery in a few months. Warning to all Antarctica travelers: BUY GOOD TRIP INSURANCE AND DO NOT SKIMP! It may seem expensive at the time, but it's worth every single penny when something goes wrong.
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