From the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica
Nov 26, 2010 - National Geographic Explorer
After a quiet night at anchor in Arthur Harbor, National Geographic Explorer got under way for our last full day in Antarctica. The captain skillfully drove the ship through the Lemaire Channel, one of the most scenic waterways in the world, and on towards our morning stop at Booth Island. Booth Island makes up the western side of the channel and its sheer cliffs and cascading glaciers are a sight to behold. Once we arrived the conditions were monitored and everything was right for another kayak operation. The waterways around the south side of Booth are much shallower than other areas so when icebergs float in at high tide they get stuck and bump around the bay for years. Booth Island is also one of only a few spots on the Antarctic Peninsula where all three pygocelids or brushtail penguins reside. While gentoos are the bulk of the breeding numbers there are adelies and chinstraps present as well. Walks were led to see the nesting penguins and to the stone cairn built almost 100 years ago as a part of the Charcot expedition. Zodiacs were used to get closer to the incredible ice.
In the afternoon we travelled to Paradise Bay and enjoyed some scenic cruising with the ship. Icebergs, bergy bits, growlers and brash ice all covered with new snow filled the bay in a silent yet always changing pattern that can only be seen in Antarctica. It was a good time to reflect on the amazing journey we have enjoyed these past three weeks.