Dec 05, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer
Our morning was spent busily attempting to pack in as much as we could before National Geographic Explorer would make her way north from Antarctica. The ship was parked in the fast ice near the old British Research Base “A”. Now known as Port Lockroy. Built during World War II to keep an eye on the Germans as they were in the Southern Ocean, the base existed for several decades but eventually was abandoned and succumbed to the elements. It was refurbished a few decades ago and now has the title of the most visited spot in Antarctica. It is home to nesting gentoo penguins, plus there’s a museum, displays, post office and a gift shop—all cozily bundled in the main building.
Before visiting the museum, we had a chance to walk on the frozen ocean. The sea ice from last winter still remained in the bay and we had a few activities offered. Guests could cross-country ski, put a pair of snowshoes over their boots, or simply walk around the bow of the ship and enjoy the light snow that fell during the morning. It was a magical way to start the day. Once everyone had enjoyed their time we took a group photo to celebrate walking on the fast ice with the ship in the background. We then repositioned the ship in order to have our Zodiacs available to head over to Port Lockroy.
After a late lunch, the ship maneuvered towards whale waters. A few pairs of humpback whales were seen feeding in the productive waters near the shores of Dallman Bay. We then had a quiet evening dinner before the ship was taken back out into the Drake Passage!