Our first Antarctic landing

Trip Start Dec 28, 2006
Trip End Dec 2007

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Flag of Antarctica  ,
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Woke up today feeling queasy but we were well enough to eat lunch.  The water was calmer as we had reached the English Channel (between several South Shetland Islands) and we had covered so much distance so quickly we were able to go for an unplanned excursion.  It was to Aitcho Island, one of the South Shetland Islands and we were all excited as we layered on the clothes, then wellies (easier to scrape the guano off) and life jackets and got into the zodiac.  It was a very short trip over.  The island was beautiful and we could see from the boat it was covered in penguins!  Sara's fav were the Chinstrap penguins as they are so cute but Tony preferred the Gentoos as he found them more inquisitive and graceful.  We watched them for ages and carefully (to avoid the guano) walked around on the island. 

It was hard to believe we were actually there and so hard to picture ourselves at that point on a world map but it's brilliant to have been so lucky to have such an experience.  We also saw a few Antarctic Fur-seals which were great fun to watch and saw Petrels in the skies above us.

Alas, one thick pair of hiking socks isn't enough here and we had to go back to the boat after a couple of hours.  Had the best shower of the whole trip and a fab 5 course dinner (the food is very fancy gourmet stuff) and T watched the Blue Planet but Sara fell asleep half way through - must have been the cocktails the captain gave us to celebrate!
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