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The perfect last day

We woke up in the morning in Paradise. Paradise harbor is named rather accurately: picturesque mountain peaks, ice bergs and sheltered from swell. Sipping our morning coffee, we were joined by two humpback whales who were lunge feeding, coming up to the surface with their mouths wide open. I've never seen a lower lip of a whale before, one crew member said in awe.

We put the zodiacs and sloopy in the water and the guides took everyone to cruise around in Skontorp Cove. We saw a blue eyed shag colony nesting on a basalt cliff. A brown skua was quietly circling over a lonely shag sitting on the water and soon we witnessed a rather exciting hunting scene. The blue eyed shag had no chance, the Skua was skilled and relentless.

After the cruise it was time for a polar plunge in refreshing 2-degree water. We were impressed to find most of the voyage crew on deck in their swim suits in just a few minutes, ready to dip in to the chilly water between the ice bergs. 'This is not so bad', said a few, while the others considered the water to be absolutely and intolerably freezing. Perhaps due to the large audience, we saw no hesitation though everyone simply walked down the ladder with great determination and finished their plunge with applause.

We continued our way towards Neko harbor and we wanted to be there in the afternoon, but our voyage got interrupted by whales at every turn a matter that we have absolutely no complaints about, but definitely caused some extra circles for our first mate to steer. Incredibly enough, we saw the second hunting scene of the day, a group of orcas with several females and one or two males with larger fins circling around a humpback whale that got separated from the group of three whales. It seemed to us that the whale got away in the end, or perhaps the orcas were just playing or practicing hunting. Very impressive scene in any case, not something that many people get to witness in a lifetime.

We got to neko harbor for our last landing, and the only landing to the actual Antarctic continent. Neko harbor view this time was just unreal. I seemed very foggy first, in fact the fog was so thick we could not see the ship from ashore. We climbed higher to the side of the glacier, and all of a sudden we could see the familiar masts in the fog. No hull could be seen, just the three masts and yards floating in the sea of sun-lit mist, with glacier-covered mountains in the background and a colony of Gentoo penguins nesting on a rocky hill in front of this view. I don't think I will forget this sight.

It is almost hard to believe that all of this happened in just one day, and that the day happened to be our last day in the Antarctic Peninsula. There was so many once in a lifetime-moments in such a short time, that it felt like a good decade's worth of beautiful experiences.

-Annukka

Geschreven door:
Annukka Pekkarinen | Guide

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Comments

Please more of this beautiful posts ­čÖĆ­čĆ╗. Thank you Annukka


Jana  |  07-02-2023 12:52 uur

Beautiful blog Annukka.


margriet  |  07-02-2023 10:38 uur

Ein toller Bericht, der die Faszination f├╝r die Antarktis gut r├╝berbringt!


Toni Franz  |  06-02-2023 22:09 uur

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