What a day! In the morning, our ship was positioned in a little bay in Pourquoi Pas Island. The morning was gorgeous with blue sky, bright sun, and very little wind. Two main landing options were offered for the guests, and they could take them both. A 1.5-mile-long hike was available on the northern side of the bay and majority of guests decided to start their day from a really rare opportunity to hike in Antarctica.
During the hike on land and glacier they were able to see a colony of giant petrels. Later in the morning they switched to the southern landing. Other guests started their day at the southern landing site where around 2,000 nesting Adelie penguins awaited. Several rookeries were scattered around the high beach and the foot of a magnificent cliff. On the right side of the landing a steep wall of rounded boulders (a terminal moraine) semi-encircled a glacier. A dozen or more Antarctic skuas were nesting on gravelly spots close to the penguins. Close to the top of the cliff, high in the ski, numerous Antarctic terns could be observed as bright white dots flying to and from their nesting colony.
After a quick lunch, during which the ship was repositioned to Horseshoe Island, new adventure awaited. Again, two options were offered. Horseshoe Island was home to a British Antarctic station that existed just a few years in 1950s or 1960s. However, the buildings of the station are still there, and guests had an opportunity to visit the main building inside and have a glimpse of the scientist’s everyday life on this station. A Weddell seal rested on the beach next to our landing watching our arrival. This island was quite spectacular from the geological point of view. All around the station guests could see numerous bright greenish blue spots and veins of malachite – precious stone that is rich in copper.
After the dinner, the expedition team and the bridge team prepared a special Christmas surprise for the guests. The captain parked the ship in the fast ice and guests could walk on the frozen surface of deep sea. Many photos were taken, and many Merry Christmas wishes exclaimed.