We awoke this morning as National Geographic Endurance slalomed between tabular icebergs, the flat-topped behemoth fortresses of ice that calved off of the ice shelves of the Weddell Sea. The play of sunlight on certain ice faces made for an exceptionally artistic start to the day.
The fantastic weather and calm conditions continued today as we spent our time in the Antarctic Sound area at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. In fact, the conditions were so favorable that we were able to do both Zodiac cruising AND kayaking in Kinnes Cove of Joinville Island.
Kinnes Cove is a beautiful spot with a sizeable Adelie penguin population reaching impossibly high up on the crest of rocky cliffs and steep snow slopes. The tabular icebergs both near and far from our Zodiac cruise and kayaking areas provided a stellar backdrop to the porpoising penguins and sparkling waters. One of the most endearing aspects of watching Adelie penguins from the Zodiacs or kayaks is waiting for a group to approach the water’s edge and decide when and whether to dive in.
After lunch, we returned to Antarctic Sound for our afternoon landing at Brown Bluff. This location is always a favorite with a visit to a beach full of nesting gentoo and Adelie penguins. At this time of the year, the birds are almost all on eggs and it was our goal to spot partners trading off the duties of incubating the eggs. Those with patience and keen senses of observation were treated to pair bonding displays, repositioning on the eggs, and even some mating between the birds who were a bit late and perhaps a bit too immature in their breeding cycle.
We came home to our luxurious ship, happily worn out after another wonderful day of sunshine, charismatic and adorable wildlife, and stunning scenery!