Port Lockroy and Neko Harbor
Knowles Antarctica Trip
Port Lockroy (UK) and Jougla Pt to Neko Harbor
They split our landing again, one group to Jougla Island that had Gentoos and Cormorants nesting, along with a whale skeleton (made up of several different whales). Glen went to Port Lockroy to sketch with the rest of us went to the island first. There were a few seals resting on the sand but this island was wall to wall penguins. Port Lockroy is a UK Heritage Trust site. They are trying to assess the damage done to penguins when visitors are near them so half the island is off limits to people and the other half has so many penguins it’s very hard to keep to the reguired distance of 5 meters.
After we left Port Lockroy the winds picked up, the winds got up to 80 knots which is 92 mph or 142 kph. As we heading into Neko Harbor we saw a sail boat we all were worried it was going to capsize (left area before we heard anything.) When we reached the end of the harbor the crew announced they would go explore to see if we could land. They decide that we could go to shore but only those who didn’t mind a rough landing and getting wet should go. Chris and Pam decided to try it out. While we were in line for boarding the zodiac they said it would be another 5 or 10 minutes since an iceberg had just calved. They told the crew on shore to get to higher ground and they closed the launch door in order to avoid swamping the launch area. The winds were still pretty strong so we only took the small camera. We boarded the zodiac quickly and unload from both sides. We walked up a hill to get a view. Several times Pam thought the winds were going to blow her off the hill. Once we reached the top Pam sat down to minimize the surface area. At times we had to lean into the wind in order to stand up right. We headed back to the zodiac, when we reached the bottom Mauricio thought we should move over to a better landing spot. They had us line up in two rows in order to board form each side quickly. The zodiac had to take 2 crew members with it so they could make it back to the beach safely after unloading the passengers at the ship. After dinner Mike told us about his whaling experience with tagging and identifying humpbacks and orcas while on a yatch.