Nov 25, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer
Our morning plan was to visit the historic Bransfield House in Port Lockroy, as well as hike to the gentoo penguin and Antarctic shag colonies at Jougla Point, on Wiencke Island. Of course, here in Antarctica plans often change! Thick ice surrounded both areas and even after pushing the National Geographic Explorer hard to get through, the Bridge team decided it couldn’t be done. For one guest in particular this was an anxious moment—Hannah Johns is a member of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust and we were giving her a ride to her summer job as part of Team Lockroy. We quickly dropped a Zodiac before conditions changed and managed to get her ashore on Wiencke Island, where the rest of Hannah’s team met her for the over ice trek to Bransfield House…whew!
Back on board the ship we cruised to Neko Harbour, where we met up with our sister ship the National Geographic Orion for an exchange of some much-needed items, we got additional life vest cartridges and they got hand soap!
The afternoon found us in Dallmann Bay in the presence of sub-surface feeding humpback whales. Our pair of whales were actually using bubbles to help corral their prey, probably Antarctic krill. Time after time they would surface right beside the ship, only to throw their mighty flukes into the sky before diving again for another krill mouthful. And so ends our time in Antarctica. The National Geographic Explorer now turns her bow to the north for the crossing of the Drake Passage. Stay tuned dear reader for more excitement from the south!
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