Tuesday 30 December 2014

December 29 - Half Moon Island

Early this morning we entered the South Shetland Islands via Nelson strait and headed for Half Moon Island on the east side of Livingston Island. We got up to an amazing site of the island in sunshine and the peaks of Livingston Island visible behind.  The chinstraps now had very small chicks, hatched in the last few days. There was one lone macaroni penguin among them.  There were also a lot of very sleep Weddell seals along the beach.  Unfortunately there was a medical emergency among the last group of passengers to shore. The serious was not known immediately, but soon we were told that we would be setting sail for King George Island and a medivac sometime later in the day. It was a beautiful evening, warm and very calm, so everyone took in stride the change of plans as we all whale watched on the decks.

Livingston Island in the background - the temperature got up to 10 C during the day!

View of the gabbroic rocks that make up much of Half Moon Island.

Chin strap rookery sliced by basalt dykes.

Marie painting near the rookery.

Chin strap heading home.

Quest anchored in Half Moon bay.
There were hump back whales and lots of penguins around the ship as we headed to King George.  Due to the change of plans we were all asked to be out on deck and in the observation lounge to talk to passengers, explain the situation and watch for wildlife. The Captain came on later in the evening explaining that the medivac had been arranged to take place from the Chilean base called Frei which has an airstrip. The plane comes from Punta Arenas and takes just over two hours. The plane was due to leave at 4 AM, arriving around 6:30 AM.

Ice berg on our way to King George Island.

Since we were all dressed to be out on deck, Maria and I chose to eat in the grill - but it was COLD!! 

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