Today, National Geographic Explorer explored the northern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. We stopped to get a look at the magnificent Astrolabe Island, where steep black rocks jutted out of the ocean in the fog. Throughout the morning, we continued to cruise through icebergs of every size and shape. We visited Lindblad Cove, where we saw amazing blue icebergs. At one point, several guests looked over the bow to watch the icebergs go by the ship.
In the afternoon, we spotted three killer whales in the Orleans Strait. We watched the beautiful whales swimming and diving. The curious thing about two of the whales was their dorsal fins were truncated, possibly by entanglement in fishing lines near South America. These were Type A killer whales, which eat a wide variety of animals such as toothfish, seals, and minke whales. All the time, there were dozens of unnamed glaciers and mountains onshore in the complete polar wilderness.
The clouds lifted during the evening, so we went on a hike on gorgeous Trinity Island. Tall ice cliffs lined the bay, with dozens of crevasses on each glacier. There was a closed Argentinian research base on the island, which was very appropriate since we had an Argentinian-themed dinner. However, the most memorable experience was the hundreds of gentoo penguins perched on their nests, with baby chicks in each one. The young chicks had the appearance of stuffed toys. What a perfect way to end the day!