The next stop in our adventure into the deep south of the Antarctic region was Charcot Island. This extremely isolated place on the eastern Bellingshausen Sea was named by the legendary French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot to honor his father, a famous physician.
We boarded Zodiacs to explore the northeast coast of the island, an extremely interesting zone, which is now a protected area because of its singular ecosystem. The fauna is very different from what can be found in northern parts of Antarctica, as it doesn’t contain the top predators of these ecosystems, arthropods and springtails. We spotted some Marion nunataks, which have been researched and found to be a unique example of adaptions to extreme conditions for life.
We sailed between the icebergs that surrounded the coast, finding groups of crabeater seals hauled out on the ice floes. We were also lucky to observe the southernmost colony of Adélie penguins, a small group concentrated in one of the few ice-free rocks.
This was our final day exploring the southern area of the continent. We will now head back north to continue our journey to unexplored areas of the Antarctic region. We are the first group from Lindblad Expeditions to visit these remote places, and the beauty of it wraps us in the hope to come back and see it once more. The isolated calmness of this ice landscape, broken by rocks, life, and the flow of the ocean. The cold air. The air of life.