November 19th, 2011
We spent the day heading toward Cape Washington or Coulman Island to visit emperor Penguins. The currents and wind changes throughout the day causing the ice to change directions. The sky is overcast and colder than the previous day. We spent the day watching the penguins scurry from the ship as it powered through the ice.
After lunch we took helicopter rides for landscape viewing and to view the ship crushing through the ice. It is not possible appreciate the power of the ice breaker until watching it’s power from the co-pilots’s seat where I was luck enough to sit!
Later, the sun appeared brighter than ever. The lectures were postponed and everyone gathered outside to view the Antarctica Peninsula from 115 miles away!
At 11 pm, sunglasses were still required due to the sun’s intensity. 360 degrees of ice, blue sky and patches of blue sea were all I can see. This is the bottom of the earth, is all I could think. I stopped taking pictures to look, to take it all in and to be in the moment. I hope that the camera in my mind never loses this image as no wide angle lens could possibly capture the vastness and awe of this place.
(This is Laurie’s fourth visit to Antarctica. She is blogging her way through this epic month-long Antarctica trip; the Kapitan Khlebnikov’s Ross Sea Centennial Voyage. Tune in for daily updates from the field. Pictures from Laurie’s past Antarctica travels are found on her website.)