Today was our second day in the Drake Passage, and we were met with the same glassy conditions as our first. We had almost no wind and light swells. Calm conditions and clear skies made for great whale-watching. As we sailed towards Antarctica in the morning, we saw many humpback whales, including a couple breaches and surface lunge feeding. It was an exciting start to our trip and a sign that we were nearing the continent. We had our first views of the continent in the morning as mountains rose into the clouds far in front of us.
As we sailed closer to the continent in the afternoon, we entered the ice. Icebergs and sea ice surrounded us, providing stunning scenery and our first glimpses of seals hauled out on the ice. Within minutes, we saw Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals lounging about on the ice floes. They lifted their heads to check us out as we motored by, providing the perfect opportunity for photography. Beyond the ice, the sun beamed down on the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and its plateau. It was a truly stunning afternoon and a beautiful introduction to Antarctica for our guests.
After an early dinner, we lowered our Zodiacs and set out to explore Prospect Point and the Fish Islands. We visited snowy Prospect Point, finally setting foot on the seventh continent. We hiked a loop and enjoyed views of a nearby glacier, icebergs, and our beautiful ship. Some guests cruised in Zodiacs to enjoy views of leopard seals and Adelie penguins hauled out on the heavy ice. As we returned to the ship, the late evening light cast the mountains aglow in pinks and oranges.