March 4, 2009
Another day of the unexpected
Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
Very early in the morning, as the sun was rising, we sailed through Lemaire Channel also known as Kodac Gap.
Until you get close, it does not appear to be a passage through this channel. The glaciers on both sides of the vessel towered above us. They were so close, we could almost touch them. We did meet with some bergy bits and brash ice.
At the south end of Lemaire Channel we took another eventful zodiac cruise in Pleneau Bay. This is an iceberg graveyard where icebergs as far away as the Ross Ice Shelf are cast aground. Just like snowflakes, there are never two ice bergs that are the same. Various colours, shapes, sizes of ice bergs were admired.
Lone Leapard seals are often found on bergs hoping to to find a meal, especially penguin, or rest. A leopard seal was found on an iceberg and another was playing with his food, a penguin, in Pleneau Bay. The mouth of a leopard seal is large, prehistoric looking and its teeth are huge and serrated. If I was a penguin or a small seal, I would live in terror of leopard seals.
For lunch we dined with glaciers on the bow of the ship. We took part in a barbecue.
After lunch the zodiacs ferried us to Port Circumcision, a cove off a 1.6 km long island called Petermann Island 65'10'S latitude.
Adelie Penguins were spotted here. These penguins were also molting before heading out to sea. These penguins are black and white, colours most people expect penguins to be. It was interesting to observe them.
Gentoo Penguins are also on this island, this is as far south as these species of penguins go. The Gentoo were very entertaining. There was a shallow wading pool from melting glaciers that the young and adult penguins could swim in. It was fun to watch their clumsy movement on ice.