Rounding the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and cruising down from the Bransfield Strait into Antarctic Sound, we woke up this morning to an amazing scene of the huge icecap on the Trinity Peninsula. We observed clusters of enormous tabular icebergs all around us. Our first planned landing at Brown Bluff was not possible due to winds from the north, so we made our way down to Devil Island, located in the Erebus and Terror Gulf. The water off the northern coast of this small mountainous island was completely full of small icebergs. This amazing natural sculpture garden was full of incredible shapes and the magical blues of Antarctic ice–a perfect place for a Zodiac cruise. In the afternoon, we made our way around the east cape of Vega Island and south to James Ross Island, where we made a landing in a true polar desert–a broad, rocky plain decorated with occasional brilliant patches of moss.
National Geographic Explorer
Today was quite busy with many interesting presentations. In the morning, geologist Serguei Ponomarenko spoke about the geological history of Antarctica. Before glaciation wiped out thousands of species of the animals and plants that used to be here, Antarctica was once connected to Australia, and much earlier, it was connected to Africa, Madagascar, India, and South America. Later, Gerard Baker spoke about conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean. After lunch, National Geographic photographer Michaela Skovranova instructed guests on live editing of photographs, an essential skill after a memorable trip. The last activity before dinner was an Antarctica quiz. In the late afternoon, National Geographic Explorer entered the Beagle Channel. Almost immediately, the wind subsided, and the sky cleared. Guests enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the Chilean and Argentinian sides of the channel. After dinner, the ship docked in Ushuaia, and guests had an opportunity to spend a few late evening hours in this most southern town in the world.