What a day! No one had a case of the “Monday Blues on” this jam-packed day on the White Continent...from kayaking to hiking to barbecuing to a daring Polar Plunge. Little did guests aboard National Geographic Resolution realize it, but today would be a day to remember.
Groups boarded kayaks to paddle freely and explore Lemaire Island. Penguins happily pranced, hobbled, and marched about on top of icebergs. Some guests witnessed large flocks of gentoo penguins swimming around their kayaks and porpoising in and out of the water, back and forth. There had to be 40 or so penguins swimming and diving. Penguins were not the only attraction. A humpback whale was spotted nearby! Guests in kayaks observed from a close distance, surely giving us exciting butterflies in our stomachs as the giant mammal surfaced before diving to feed on large schools of krill. Some kayaks were slow to return to the vessel after observing such jaw-dropping wildlife. All this action took place with the echo of thunderclaps as small glaciers calved across the bay.
Next was the Polar Plunge for those who dared jump into the frigid Antarctic waters. Guests lined up for a turn to jump in safely, and staff was present to assist. A platform, two safety boats, and a professional photographer also helped. Each adventurous guest was excited and scared, probably asking themselves, “Why did I decide to do this?!” Everyone felt happy and rejuvenated after splashing into the cold water.
After a full day of activities, a feast was served in Tupaia, including a barbecue buffet with favorites like burgers, pork belly, hotdogs, and more. No one’s belly was empty after such a hearty feast.
The afternoon brought our travelers to Neko Harbour, a gorgeous destination for any Antarctic itinerary. The waters were filled with so much ice, like a traffic jam at 5:00 p.m. on a weeknight. Our fearless and knowledgeable Zodiac drivers (including yours truly) navigated to shore for the tireless guests. Neko Harbour is home to a large colony of gentoo penguins. Some guests hiked to the top of the ridge for a closer look at a large colony. Hikers were rewarded with a near perfect view of the ship and the glaciers in the area. Two small avalanches were witnessed as snow cascaded down the mountainside like a rushing waterfall.
Guests made their way back down to the beach, moving carefully through the slushy snow. We prepared for dinner back on the ship as we sail to our next adventure, leaving nothing but footprints behind.