Quite the day! We had clear and crisp conditions for our morning at Damoy Point. Here we got to experience a little bit of everything. One of the key highlights was the Damoy Hut, a place protected and restored by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. This hut was perfectly preserved with a new coat of orange creamsicle paint! The humble hut functioned as a summer air facility and transit station from 1975 until 1993. With 15 cozy bunkbeds and a stocked kitchen, it would have been quite the place to spend a few nights. Complete with tinned meats, Marmite, Maxwell House coffee, and most importantly, custard powder, the British Antarctic Survey visitors were surely well fed. Aside from the hut, we had amazing views of the Seven Sisters Peaks and a few scattered gentoo penguin colonies. A few gentoo pairs still had quite small chicks, which does not bode well for their survival.
National Geographic Resolution did a quick reposition to Borgen Bay. The deck and expedition team prepped for our kayak operation while we enjoyed an amazing barbecue lunch prepared by the hotel team. There was even a donut bar! With so many different donuts to choose from, Homer Simpson would have been in seventh heaven. After lunch, many of our guests opted for a beautiful kayak among the ice in the bay. The sun was shining, and there were pockets of blue sky. Some guests opted for a Zodiac cruise. It was an incredibly beautiful afternoon. But the day was not over! Today was the fateful day for the polar plunge! After kayak operations, 53 brave souls jumped into the frigid Antarctic waters. I don’t think anyone regretted their choice. We had an interesting and informative recap followed by a delicious dinner. But, once again, the day was not over! Fueled with mulled wine, everyone came out on deck to witness one of the Antarctic’s most magical moments: traversing the Lemaire Channel. The sun slowly set as we inched our way through the channel, and we said good night to the mountains and to each other. We are excited for another day in Antarctica ahead of us!