What you see in Antarctica!

You have had the seasickness, you have attended the lectures, now two days of your ten day trip are over and you have seen nothing but water!

Day three: now it is time see what you came for. Firstly the spectacular landscapes.

Some with pebble beaches, deep blue skies and magnificent glaciers in the distance.

Some with jagged mountains and steep scree slopes

Others with black volcanic ash craters.

Then there are the penguins. We had been told not to approach them any closer than 5 metres. Luckily nobody told the penguins about the 5 metre rule. So all you have to do is sit and wait and they will come to you, sometimes so close you can not take photographs of them!

As you probably know there are lots of types of penguin. Below are the four types of penguins that we have seen in the Antarctic. You get one point each for three of them and several hundred points for the fourth type. (Eat your heart out Les.)

The four types of penguin we saw were Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap and Macaroni. To see which is which hover your cursor here.

Then there were the elephant seals. In some places there was a real risk of stepping on them as they looked so much like big grey rocks, and moved about as much. (OK I know one of them is a Weddell seal.)

The views from the ship, whist moving between landing sites, were often spectacular.

On several occasions we sighted whales.

We also called in at the British Antarctic Survey museum at Port Lockroy...

...where an old British Antarctic base, dating back to the second world war, is being restored by three volunteers who live in the main hut for four months a year.

In the 1950s the base was used to measure the height of the Ionosphere and other scientific experiments. It was abandoned in 1962.

The base still retains its status as a UK Post Office and most people sent postcards from here. Alas the Marmite was not for sale.

As well as the serious study of Antarctic flora, fauna and geology there were a few lighter moments.

The brave went swimming at a hot volcanic beach in Pendulum Cove within the caldera of Deception Island. Mick and Mo enjoyed the excitement of getting soaked with icy water in the Zodiacs. Judy demonstrates the fastest way down the snow (note the infamous leopard skin boots).

And finally - penguins can fly!

Our Route: For those who want to know exactly where we went, the animated map below shows our route and each place we went ashore.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2007-02-07.