Dena's birthday was very special for her for a large number of reasons. The morning started out with three humpback whales (which she adores) off the bow of the ship. They surface fed for quite a while allowing us to get some great photos. They were so close at one point that using the zoom was too close. It´s a very neat experience watching such a huge animal. They are quite graceful. It´s a little depressing to think that they were mercilessly slaughtered in the early 1900´s. After our whale watch stop we boogied over to the Enterprise Islands. We had a zodiac ride in the rain/snow and saw an old whaler wrecked on the rocks and the most spectacular iceberg ever. David (our naturalist and zodiac driver du jour) hung over the edge of the zodiac and grabbed a little bergie bit. He let all of us hold it and do our kodak moments. It was quite heavy. A silly thrill but it was fun.
Then off to Hydrurus Rock Island which is a seldom stopped at location as it is not well sheltered and the landing and swells can be quite challenging. The place was spectacular with many fur seals including a blond one which is quite rare. There were multitudes of chinstrap penguins all very close to us and blue eyed shags. Everyone on the island had babies. It´s so much fun just to watch all the drama in these penguin colonies. Our zodiac ride was adventurous both out and in. On the way to shore we had the Captain driving our zodiac. He´d never landed before on Hydrurus Rock so wanted to go check it out. He broke every rule in the book, driving us right up inside a U shaped berg that was partially submerged so we were litterally sitting on top of the iceberg. We then all got to touch it and have another kodak moment. Lots of those as you can imagine. Then he ran us up real close to the fur seals, another no no. But we appreciated all the fun for sure.
The way back to the boat the captain and the expedition leader got into a race and we roared back to the ship in 5 ´ swells with the bow of the zodiac flying all over the place. What a riot!
Dena´s day was topped off in fine fashion as the crew made tonight special. I had reserved a table for 8 and invited some of our newfound friends to join us for the celebration. (Henry and Nancy Geyer Philadelphia, Kathleen and Rachel McIntire Atlanta, Shannon Horner from Montreal, etc) The wine flowed and when it was time for dessert the stewards broke out the guitar and tamborine and sang 3 songs for her, one being Elvis's song, Fool´s Rush In