Marguerite Bay and Pourquoi-Pas Island

Jan 20, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

The early hours of the morning found us traveling south, as we relived the expedition of the famous Frenchman explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. During his second expedition in Antarctica between 1908 and 1910, Charcot explored more than 1,200 miles of previously unknown coastline.

Today we will be arriving at the very body of water named after Charcot’s second wife, Marguerite. During the early hours of the afternoon, we arrived at Marguerite Bay as well as a very particular island carrying the very name of Charcot’s ship, the Pourquoi-Pas (translates to English as “Why not?”). This island, and the whole region at large, is seldom visited, the main reason being the remoteness of the island and the prevalence of sea ice.

It is well known that below the Antarctic Circle, the sea ice remains solid well into the Antarctic summer months, and sometimes it never disappears. Luckily for us, this year’s sea ice being almost gone, we were able to allocate enough time to tour this amazing part of Antarctica.

Our landing on Pourquoi-Pas was not one to be forgotten, and several colonies of Adélie penguins were part of that afternoon’s entertainment. The most industrious of our group hiked to the top of a nearby terminal moraine to catch mesmerizing views of Mime Glacier and the surrounding bay.

Our first day below the Antarctic Circle has been full of adventures, and we are looking forward to what tomorrow’s exploration brings!

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About the Author

Javier Cotin


Javier 's passion for birds and nature began as a child exploring the Pyrenees mountains with his father. The mystery that surrounds the Lammergeier silhouette triggered his curiosity and interest towards wildlife. 

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