What a busy, long day. We landed on the actual continent of Antarctica at a place appropriately named, Brown Bluff. We made landfall about 3:30 pm and I thought, ah shit, more penguins, I'm bored with them already. But as I relaxed and let the moments take me away I realized how much there is to this barren place. The colors in the huge, skyscraper high bluffs was more vibrant than any artist could imagine. The glacier to the left radiated blue and white so colorful that a rainbow paled in comparison. Such beauty in such a remote place.
Many, many Adelie penguins were fledging when we arrived. They were trying to go for their first swim. It was hilarious as they were all sitting on a variety of outcroppings that were exposed due to the extremely low tide. These youngsters vascillated and stalled and generally put off their first swim, however, as the tide started to come in their hand was forced. At the last moment as their low outcroppings disappeared below the rising tide they jumped in. Clumsily they learned to swim and porpoise and just as quickly they jumped up on land again, happy to be ashore. The parents of these Adeliele chicks teach their children nothing - one day the parents just don't come home and the chicks need to fend for themselves. Survival of the fittest.
Many wonders showed themselves today, a 6 week old snow petrel in its nest, jelly fish in the shallows and Killer Whales off the starboard side during dinner. As we steam through the Bransfield Strait on our way to the infamous Deception Island wonders abound everywhere. Icebergs that are a mile square and 60 feet high loom over the ship, a lone penguin floating on a tabular iceberg, seals in the distance, there is just no describing to you the surrealness of the seascape nor the barren beauty of it all. It is incredible how close they get to us red coated intruders. As long as we don't block their path they proceed by us, often within inches. Arlene and I got to golf on Antarctica, her idea. She bought a fold up putter and neon green ball. We putted and logged an official hole on the 7th continent. By the way, she missed her putt, I made mine.......Scroll down for pictures