Jan 22, 2018 - National Geographic Orion
After sailing well beyond the Antarctic Circle we sailed into Marguerite Bay in the morning, sailing close by Jenny Island before heading across to Pourquoi Pas for a morning landing. Marguerite Bay is a truly spectacular bay, surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and with a very calm sea littered with icebergs large and small. The bay is sheltered by Adelaide Island, with further protection provided by the Antarctic Peninsula on the other side. Pourquoi Pas has an Adélie penguin colony nestled below a glacier and partly sheltered by the large glacial morain pushed up to one side of the now retreating glacier. For many this visit completed the three brushtail penguin sittings of the Antarctic.
By 11:30 everyone was back on board and we were steaming to our next destination—the Gullet! This is a narrow channel formed between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Peninsula and is often packed full of ice, blocking safe passage through. However today we were extremely lucky with a relatively clear channel on top of a beautifully calm, clear sunny day. As we sailed through we came across a large area of fast ice. The captain aimed the bow of the ship towards the ice and the National Geographic Orion crunched into it. Our afternoon activities were kayaking and a walk on the sea ice—a truly magical experience. We came across crabeater seals leaping onto the ice edge, humpback whales cruising along the ice edge, with several kayakers being only around 10m away from a breaching whale!
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