I am so tired! Trying to balance the zodiac cruises, landing on Antarctica and the 2041 speeches and workshops is difficult. This is a such a short window of opportunity, having such like minded people altogether that I feel I have to make every moment count and speak to as many people as possible. Tonight, however, I have gone to bed early for once!
For the last few days we have been slowly making our way north up the Antarctic Peninsula. One of the highlights of the last few days was the polar plunge. I almost didn’t do it until someone said to me -“you will not regret it if you do it, but you will regret it if you don’t do it” It was a strange experience standing in my swimming costume on the loading deck of the ship, watching ice floating all around and then launching myself in to the frozen water. It immediately felt like it was burning my skin but the exhilaration was amazing! 🙂 Afterwards we jumped into the steaming hot swimming pool and it was definitely the best swim I have ever had!
Earlier in the day I had spent an hour and a half stand up paddle boarding. It was my first time to do this and what a place to try! I started kneeling on the board and then after a bit of a wobble to stand up I then had no issues balancing for the rest of the time. It was so peaceful to be out there without the noisy motor of the zodiac. Penguins were darting around us under the water, I never knew how agile and fast they were. My favourite part of the session was looking over towards an iceberg to see it collapsing into the sea, it sounded like thunder and it sent a massive ripple out over the water and changed its glass like appearance.
In the evening we created a light word show from solar lamps. The words that were created were:
R + B SWAN
Rob made a speech to everyone on board and reiterated the 2041 message to look after our planet.
Today we spent the day around Wilhelmina bay. It is known for being a good place to find whales. During the course of the day I saw 8 whales, all humpbacks. It was fascinating to watch how they worked as a team and coordinated their movements so that they could get the most amount of krill. They are huge and majestic and as graceful as a ballet dancer. We did unfortunately come across a dead young humpback who was providing a feast for many Petrels. We also came across a colony of chin strap penguins – this was my first sighting of this breed of Penguin.
During the morning zodiac cruise, we spent a long time watching two young male fur seals play together on a floating piece of ice. They reminded me of two puppies play fighting and barking at each other.
The afternoon was spent writing a postcard to myself whilst sitting silently on one of the islands.
Tomorrow we will arrive at the South Shetland Islands and so my experience of standing on the Antarctic continent is over. 😦 Although this part of the story is over, I really feel that my journey has just begun.
Thank you for following,