24 January 2022 – South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
62 degrees 35.24 minutes South
Expeditions require nightly preparation and early mornings! We woke up at 3:30am this morning to watch the sunrise today. At first we thought our clocks were wrong, it looked as if the sun had already risen. We realized that what we were seeing was most likely a reflection of the sun off the clouds. The temperature was 24 degrees just after sunrise the ship passed through the English Channel.
We anchored at 7am off the coast of Half Moon Island. There are hundreds of penguins visible from our balcony. We have been watching them swim in the water. The expected daytime temperature is between 37 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Our landing today was a “Wet” landing we needed to step out of the Zodiac in 10cm of Antarctic water.
Each passenger is allowed up to 2 activities per day, today’s activities are two landings in the South Shetland Islands. We have opted against the Sea Kayaking activity as it would take away one of our activities for that day and Mac is not old enough to participate.
Everyone on the ship has been divided into Zodaik/Activity groups. We are in the green group. At 9:10am our group was called to embark the zodiacs and head to the landing beach on Half Moon Island. We carry our parkas, waterproof pants and boots with us to the main lounge wearing only slippers or slides inside the ship over our wool socks. We leave our slippers/slides outside the lounge and proceed inside to finish getting dressed. Our amazing Butler helped Mac with her boots and outer layer while the adults got themselves ready. When we arrived on the beach we were given a return time 60 minutes later to come back to the beach and board the Zodiac back to the ship.
Half Moon Island is home to a chinstrap penguin rookery and there were Fur and Weddel seals on the other side of the Island. Mac spotted a Gentoo penguin among the Chinstraps. She noticed only one penguin with an orange beak and orange feet compared to the chinstraps black beaks.
The thumbnails in the gallery below can be clicked to enlarge.