Monday 8 December 2014

December 7 Halfmoon Island

Today was our first landing!  It is actually quite a feat to get the 480 passengers off the ship (plus a lot of the crew went ashore)!  Between heavy clothes, life jackets, and lots of people with no experience with small boat and the cold, getting everyone organized takes time!  We had a great spot to land though.  There was wind and swell, but most of the groups got off on time.  We ended up running only about hour late, despite the ship having to re-position itself several times.

I spent a lot of my time helping people adjust their hiking poles and learning how to walk on snow!

This island has the Argentine base as well as a large colony of Chinstrap penguins. We also saw a few Gentoos and a single Adelie. There were also some Weddell Seals.  It turns out that Weddell seals are the favourite food of killer whales.  The whales prefer them over any other kind of seal.  We also had a couple of Humpback whales close to the ship.

Staff landing ashore to organize for guests to begin arriving.

Sleeping Chinstrap penguin.

Mom by the main colony of Chinstraps.

Many had eggs. The brooding bird gets incredibly dirty as their body heat melts the snow.

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