08.03.2012 -12 °C
Following yesterday’s ramble I thought it best to lighten today’s blog before I’m accused by Russell of harbouring a secret ambition to explore the South in a little more detail - something which wouldn’t be far off the truth given half the opportunity!
This morning was one of those mornings! Whilst en route to Curverille Island from the back of the zodiac over the din of the outboard motor I heard one of the more elderly passengers ask the crew when we would be leaving Argentina and getting to Antarctica. Due credit to him as he kept his composure and responded calmly, much to her surprise and our amusement “We are already there mam!”
Later that morning, we took advantage of the relatively calm conditions in Orne Harbour and decided to scout the shoreline from the comfort of the zodiac. Before going any further it’s probably worth pointing out that ‘calm’ conditions here is relative to the local environment and consists of riding 3 - 4 metre swells – kinda like jumping up and down on a trampoline! Anyway I digress, having spent 10 minutes viewing and picturing two beautiful fur seals basking in the sun on a rocky outcrop our leader finally turned the zodiac round and made to head back to the boat, at this point the Japanese couple in the bow appeared to awake from their slumber and proceeded to squawk and point excitedly at the two seals as if noticing them for the first time! One is left wondering where exactly had they been for the past 10 minutes?
Returning towards the expedition boat we were treated to the mesmerising sight of 3 Humpbacks whales feeding for krill against a beautiful backdrop of brilliant white glaciers. With a gentle tap on the side of the boat our leader notified them to our presence and shortly afterwards we were treated to a fascinating display of spy hoping (when a whale raises its head partially out of the water to look) and tail fluking (raising of whale fin)...a lovely way if I might say to wrap up the afternoon! (The photographs, whilst not quite capturing the magic of the moment, should nonetheless give you a sense of the occasion).
Melchoir Islands – With the temperature rapidly falling and the drizzling rain turning to snow one could feel the weather changing around them. This was to be our last outing of the expedition, in fact of the season and what a trip it would turn out to be! So far we had been mentally ticking off all the amazing birds and mammals that we had seen against an imaginary checklist but would we ever get to see the prize....a blue whale? Alas no not on this trip.
Post Script: Apologies but with my inane historical ramblings of yesterday I completely forgot to mention our visit to the wonderful Skontrop Cove and Foyn Harbour.