Nov 23, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
We celebrated Thanksgiving last night, and today it felt like Christmas. Fluffy snow flurried down, and a few people gathered on the bow to make snow penguins and snow seals. This quickly developed into a snowball fight.
Because of wind and snow conditions, we bounced around this morning from Charlotte Bay to Enterprise Island to Wilhelmina Bay. At times, the visibility was so limited by the beautiful snow flurries that we couldn’t safely land. We took the opportunity to add a presentation to the itinerary, this time about Antarctic artists and some of the creative projects that have been inspired by the white continent. Outside, the icebergs continued to stream by and the ocean’s surface turned white with an unusual layer of slushy snow as precipitation continued.
As we cruised toward the ice edge, our spotters on the bridge saw two big, male Type B1 killer whales, and we watched them as we cruised further into Wilhelmina Bay.
After lunch, we found the sea ice we’d been looking for. A large plain of shore-fast ice that we could approach. We set a small party ashore to look for cracks in the ice and found it thick and solid enough to hold us all. Our cross-country skiers went “ashore” first and took off into the distance where they found a Weddell seal breathing hole and some crabeater seals hauled out on the ice. Others tried snowshoes, took walks along the ice, or hung out near the barbecue where the team prepared sausages and drinks for all.
It was the perfect day to play in the snow and experience the quiet that descends when those flakes start to fall.
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