Jan. 21, Tues.: Walking on the Continent

Trip Start Jan 13, 2014
Trip End Jan 25, 2014

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Flag of Antarctica  ,
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Jan. 21


Hard to imagine we only have today and tomorrow here in  Antarctica!  

This morning we are touring and hiking the Brown Station and Paradise Harbor area and cruising around the harbor.  Our group is divided in half, part hiking and part cruising; then reversing.  We have learned it is better to cruise first (other wise, you will be hot and sweaty after hiking, and get cold cruising... and the deep snow path has been packed).  We saw icebergs caving and avalanches… amazing ice caves, active glaciers marching down to the sea, cubes of ice, etc. in Paradise Harbor.   Very beautiful scenery and so quiet!! 

When it was our turn, we docked at Brown Research Station, on a wooden pier, very picturesque with its bright red buildings.  It is on the Antarctic mainland:  our first time.  We climbed up the mountain, probably 1000 feet or more.  It took us along time, but our hiking sticks really helped.  The path was beaten down from the previous hikers.  It still took us a long time.  When we reached the top, last, and at last, we sat on rocks and enjoyed the view.

One by one, each hiker slid back down the mountain in a snowchute… so much quicker!  Gary and MD were last…and the fastest, due to our cheap yellow waterproof rubber suits.  Watch the video to enjoy our rides!!!!!

We Zodiaked back to the ship for lunch and a rest.  We were tired after the exertion of climbing in the snow up hill.

During the rest time, the ship cruised to Culverson Island, a lovely and smooth ride.  There was a nice rock beach upon which to land, easy to maneuver for the Zodiacs and the passengers (just swing the legs over and walk off the beach).  We walked along the rocky beach and enjoyed Gentoo penguin colonies.  They were very busy waddling down to the shore for their daily swim, did not care about us at all!!!

After the walk on such a sunny day, we were quite warm and began to shed layers.  The ship's thermometer said 51 degrees this afternoon.  We hopped on Zodiacs and wandered through beautiful icebergs.  The shapes were quite stunning.  We played the "cloud game"... what does that one remind you of?   One was a ship, one a mushroom, one a duck, etc.We returned to the ship, met with Greeta and Volt and had a cocktail. The "cocktail of the day" was the "Blue Earth".

The dinner was “surprise”:  barbeque on the 5th deck.  What a perfect night:  no wind, smooth sailing, lots of sun!  We had barbequed pork, ribs, steak chicken, fish, bratwurst, baked potatoes, corn, veggies, and baked apples with ice cream for dessert.  Wine, etc. were the drinks.  It was delicious.   There was music and some dancing to lots of oldies and goldies, most of which we remembered from our youth, as did 99% of the crowd.  It was a great night... Remember there is no dark, only dusk during the night!

The ship ventured out into the unprotected waters of the Bransfield Straight, and the water turned very rough overnight.  We went to sleep early and avoided most  it.

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