Sunday Feb. 10th, 2008
We arrived first thing this morning after a run south down the Antarctic Penisula to a small island called Cuverville. The bay we entered was calm as glass with glaciers calving into the sea, penguins porpoising all around us and a large Gentoo breeding colony on shore. Today, we kayaked. Dena has been excited about this moment from day 1. Dena and I cruised lazily around the bay stopping off shore of some rocks with many Gentoos jumping in and out of the water. They swam around us and we laughed at their antics. The water is so clear that we can see them swimming beside us. Truly magical. Dena then decided she wanted to go thru this thin ice with the Kayak. I didn't really like the idea as the water looked shallow. You could see the eddys around the rocks. But, we headed that way anyways. You know you're about to get into trouble when your paddle will not pierce the ice and rocks loom ahead. But we made it through (not withstanding a little panic on my part) and are richer for the experience.
After kayaking we went ashore to spend some quality time with the penguins up close and personal. I have a picture of Dena (which probably doesn't do it justice) sitting on a whale vertebra (sp?) looking at a Gentoo penguin who is laying on a whale rib about 3 feet in front of her. She probably sat there for 20 minutes, her looking at the Gentoo and it looking at her. We all sat on these large stones that make up the "beach" and just watched the drama of all these penguins coming and going. They look so clumsy as they make their way down this rocky beach to the water, then they literally dip their toe in the water as if to test it, back up, think about it and then wade in. I won't go on and on about the penguins and their babies and the molters so I don't bore you so I just get on to the end of the morning.
I was the last guest on the island. I don't know why this thrills me, but it does..... Dena and Arlene's boat was already in the water, they yelled to me that they hoped I had lots of protein bars because they were leaving me. The last boat (full of staff naturalists) had to wait for me (hehe) and we actually ended up having to tow Dena and Arlene's boat to the Endeavor. The motor had ice in the gas line. Well, it's off to lunch then Port Lockroy which is the only shopping opportunity in Antarctica. Who knew there would be a shopping opportunity.