Jan 18, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
Today the sea calmed, allowing passengers to mingle and walk about the ship. We took the opportunity this morning to decontaminate our outerwear before leaving the ship, which helps to prevent inadvertent introduction of plant species not native to the Antarctic. This included vacuuming to remove seeds from Velcro and pockets, followed by dipping poles and boots in a disinfectant to kill any seeds or diseases picked up from elsewhere.
The first icebergs were spotted in the afternoon, and then by around 2:00 p.m., land! Our destination was Barrientos – an island found on the west side of the English Strait. Views are scenic from Barrientos, which is also home to a gentoo penguin colony. The weather wasn’t ideal, but the spot we chose was adequately sheltered, allowing us to get ashore dry; a definite bonus in an area known for formidable amounts of wind and precipitation year-round.
While everyone was ashore taking in the Antarctic atmosphere and the company of gentoo penguins, the dive team went for an exploratory dive off a nearby island.
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