This morning the National Geographic Resolution awoke cruising south along the Danco Coast in the Gerlache Strait. The surreal and stunning landscape of Antarctica found us stirring from slumber in a state of awe as we looked outside the windows. Where icy mountains meet the sea, this pristine and otherworldly environment made us ponder all that we have been learning. The geology, the biology of species, the history of all the people who have explored; we are slowly weaving the web of this world together.
Our destination for the morning was Paradise Harbor and this area certainly lived up to its name. Mountains reflected on glassy water our zodiacs explored among icebergs large and small. On the sea ice we found crabeater and Weddell seals and gentoo penguins teased us as they swam around our boats.
After lunch we poked around the corner to Neko Harbor and visited a gentoo penguin colony. The majority of penguins were still waiting for the snow to melt to before laying eggs but we did see a fair share of pair bonding/courtship and hanky-panky. Beautiful Neko Harbor was named after a floating whale factory ship which operated in this area from 1911-1923. The history of whaling around the Peninsula has a grim past with over 85,000 whales (mostly blue, fin and humpback) being harvested from 1905-1931. Slowly these species are making a comeback.
From Paradise to Neko we had but another amazing day (and weather) here along the Antarctic Peninsula!