A foggy Antarctic morning started out our day as National Geographic Resolution slowly enters Mikkelsen Harbor, a stunning bay on the south end of Trinity Island. Impressive, heavily crevassed glaciers in Mikkelsen Harbor surround D’Hainaut Island, a small isle. After breakfast, small boats were let down over the side of National Geographic Resolution to shuttle guests ashore.

Guests spotted a gentoo colony on D'Hainaut Island. We photographed the many small chicks still in their nests. Guests interested in a bit of exercise walked a flagged and snowy trail to the north side of the island. They observed whalebones and a water boat pulled ashore on a nice beach.

A light breeze rippled the surface of the bay where the ship waited. Several deep blue icebergs were just beyond the ship. The crew set up the portside gate for a morning round of kayaking. Conditions for a paddle were perfect.

Back aboard the ship for lunch, guests enjoyed breathtaking views of the snow-covered peaks of the Antarctic Peninsula. We steamed toward our next location for the afternoon expedition.

The Spert Islands are only a short steam from Mikkelsen Harbor. These unique islands are volcanic basalt intrusions first charted by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition under Nordenskjold, 1901–04. Once on station, small boats were over the side for Zodiac tours of this amazing group of islands. Many large tabular icebergs are grounded in the shallow waters that surround the islands. The icebergs get trapped between volcanic outcrops, and they end up smashing themselves to smithereens. It was quite the adventure as we toured in the “washing machine,” exploring as many nooks and crannies as we could.

Once back aboard the ship, guests prepared for dinner with cocktails and enjoyed interesting recaps from the field staff. Later in the evening, a pod of killer whales appeared at the bow of the ship. It was a timely display of remarkable marine mammals, an incredible appearance to close out an amazing day of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.