The Antarctic experience is one of great scale. Anchored in a vast landscape of towering peaks draped in massive glaciers under thick blankets of snow, one can set foot on a tiny island and be immersed in a microcosm of penguins and polar exploration history. Each island and rocky coastal outcrop has its own network of highways, rookeries, and haul-outs for wildlife. Each are as nuanced and interconnected as the ocean currents and waterways that define the continent. Stepping inside a historic hut is a like entering a portal back in time.

Today we were privileged to enjoy many of these perspectives – from gentoo penguin parents fussing over their newly hatched chicks at Damoy Point to the historical British base museum at Port Lockroy, all with an incredible backdrop of dramatic high clouds and even some blue skies!

After trading stories and photos from the day during our evening recap onboard, we were elated to encounter a pod of orcas resting in the calm waters of Gerlache Strait. As the sun reached its lowest point, we gave ourselves permission to close our eyes just long enough to process what we have seen and leave room to take in what wonders tomorrow may bring.