Whale carcass, Port Lockroy (Peyton McCollum)
We started the morning early at sunrise with a spectacular still sea with mountains of the Lemaire Channel reflecting their beauty. It's quite odd, you constantly feel like you're headed in a direction with no out, but somehow we always made our way through the islands and icebergs. We saw Crabeater seals on some ice floats and a few more Humpback Whales. We then landed at Port Lockroy where a small shop sold trinkets and t-shirts, closely guarded by Gentoos out front. It was a sunny day, effectively hot, so I was glad my new ski pants included optional vents down the legs -- one of my best pre-trip purchases. This site featured a Blue Whale skeleton and hundreds of fluffy Gentoo chicks. As we departed land for the last time, mixed emotions emerged. We did one final zodiac cruise around Melchior Sound and Gerlache Strait, finding Weddell Seals and being surrounded by Humpback whales. The water around us was boiling with their bubbles under our zodiacs, it was unbelievable! We feared the worst, being overturned by an angry whale, but they just posed for us in the mystical light and ended our Antarctica voyage with a bang. We were so lucky at many points along our route. Generally speaking the weather was on our side and the animals of the deep south came out to play throughout. I certainly hope to return one day, but for now, I'll live with the memories of this glorious adventure.
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