The South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Antarctic Dream

Flag of Antarctica  ,
Friday, February 11, 2011


Day : 270
Temperature : 3 degrees
Weather : Cloudy

Antarctica Day Four – Aitcho Island and Half Moon Island

The first thing that was evident upon waking up was that our little ship wasn't rolling around from side to side, or pitching violently anymore! We were in the shelter of the South Shetland Islands. Thank goodness!

Today was our first landing in Antarctica, and everybody was unbelievably excited. We had been woken up early, at about 7am, since breakfast was at 7.30am. At 8.30am, we returned to our rooms to change into warmer gear, put on our waterproof trousers, boots, jackets and life vests. Twenty minutes later we were all huddled around the reception in our fat suits like sumo wrestlers, waiting to board the zodiacs. But before doing so we needed to be checked out by the receptionist…in order to make sure that nobody was accidently left on land!...and we were required to scrub down our boots and step into a bucket of disinfectant…this we would do before, and after, each landing. We were then ushered one at a time down the steps where we were helped onto the zodiacs by the crew. Once we had the appropriate number of passengers on the zodiac, we were zipped away at speed towards the beach by who else but the Antarctic Stig….who would have known that the Stig had a twin down here?!

The first thing you notice when landing is the smell….penguin rookeries are more than a bit whiffy!! The second thing you notice is the noise……squalking from all angles, high pitched, low pitched, loud and soft….coming from every angle…amazing!

Once we’d landed safely on the beach we were free to wander around for a while before being led on a mini trek around the island, trying to keep the mandatory 5m from any of the penguins or seals. This was slightly difficult however, when the curious little penguins and chicks waddled up towards you! And this was what struck us the most about Antarctica on this first day of our landings….the animals here have absolutely no fear of humans….it’s utterly incredible!

I think it’s best at this point to let the photos do the talking…hope you enjoy them…what an amazing experience!!!

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Antony on

The video was a good addition - never see one before on your blogs. Still looks cold !!

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