Antarctica, Day 1
Thursday, February 2 was our first day in Antarctica. It was a pretty ugly day, full of fog, snowstorms & 40 mph gales. Nonetheless, your intrepid tourists spent much of the day on deck, freezing our you-know-whats off. We told you that Patagonia & the Magellan Strait were impressive, but they can’t hold a candle to Antarctica. Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions many of the pictures really don’t convey adequately what it looked like in person. But here are a few to start out with, of coastline & icebergs & mountains wrapped in mist, all during a snowstorm.
Stay with me, ‘cause the pictures got better as the sun came out in the afternoon. We saw some impressive mountains, I think on Wiencke Island (we are not entirely sure of the location of many of these pictures).
There was also wildlife, particularly birds on the first day. They move incredibly fast and it is very difficult to catch a decent picture of a bird in flight. There were a dozen or more wasted pictures for every good one below. But I did manage shots of a Kelp Gull (cheating a little, since this was actually shot in Ushuaia), a Giant Petrel, a Wandering Albatross (the largest seabird in the world, with an 11 foot wingspan) & the beautiful Pintendo, or Cape Petrel. As always, you can see the captions by moving your cursor over the picture.
Fans of towel animals may be wondering where they are. Well, they stopped coming for a couple of days, then we got reruns for a few days. We are told that the laundry can’t get sufficient water in the Antarctic region and the towel animals are the first thing sacrificed to reduced laundering. I hope we get them back when we reach Argentina. In the meantime here is an ice sculpture to satisfy your artistic needs; it is a pair of hands holding a red globe centered on Antarctica. I wish it had been made for purely artistic purposes, but in fact it was the background for a jewelry raffle & sale.
So we went to bed the first night, hoping for better weather the next day (preview: prayers answered).