Day 5 - One can never see enough Penguins! Or Whale Tales!!
track: Southward, second landing on Antarctica soil at Neko harbour and zodiac expedition at Orne Harbour
notes by the Oceanwide expedition team from
the Ortelius official logbook
Position: 64°50.5’S, 062°34.7’W
Wind: S 5
Weather: partly cloudy
Air Temperature: -2
travel log per day by Jurci Travel
Striking beautiful sunrise - WOW!!! What a way to start your day!Then more Gentoo Penguins, Whales waving their Tales and getting acquinted with Ever Smiling Penguins (Chinstrap Penguins rookery).
We know Antarctica is cold, but when one is shivering while one's forehead is burning hot: well, paracetamol lunch and some bed-rest : ( for Jurgen - who in the evening already bounched back from this flue-like hick up. Hooray Again for on-board doctor Jacco! And for Mr. Scissor for the photographers glove tweaking!
Highlights of the day
Striking beautiful sunrise – surreal pallet of light, glaciers, mountains and icy-blue water. A golden hour indeed!
YAY!!!! More Gentoo Penguins! YAY!!! So we had a great time at Neko Beach.
Zodiac expedition – to meet the chinstrap Penguins, who love to live on steep high rocks. Pure black-and-white, with orange-ish eyes (!), and they have a permanent smile on their face. Well, who would not if you are privileged to live your life as a Penguin ; )
Whale Tales – Up close, spotting whales on their blows – water up in the air and the signature sound that gives. Micha, the expedition leader of our Zodiac is brilliant in spotting them and maneuvering us close to the spot where the whale is most likely to surface again. Wow! Such an impressive experience!
Antarctica Fun Fact- How cold is cold?
I don’t know about you, but one says ‘desert’ I am thinking – Sand dunes, Camels, soaring hot temperatures and blasting sun from dusk till dawn.
Funny enough – Antarctica is a desert, and actually the driest continent of the planet.
The amount of snow falling in any one year is relatively very low; therefore it classifies as a desert. Little snow every year, cold temperatures preventing the snow from melting, and keeping that up for millions years: You get Ice, Ice Baby!
On average, you would need to dig 2200 meters deep to reach Antarctic soil, and at some locations- you will need to dig up to 4776 meter through compressed snow and ice.
Antarctica is the coolest place on Earth, literally as well: The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica on July 21, 1983 by ground measurements.
One more unique characteristic of Antarctica- it is also the Windiest continent, with speeds reaching 320 kph (or 200mph).
Cold and windy. Is it always like this? No, Antarctica has it's summer peaks as well:
The highest temperature at Antarctica is measured as being 19.8o Celcius. Not really a temperature to think 'Tropical Beach Party, Baby!'
Family and Friends were doubtful - we lived too long in countries with soaring heat (lovely!). So how will we cope with Antarctic cold? They advised us well: layer up! Thermo, wool, fleece, wind proof layer etc....
So we did, up to 8 layers on the coldest day of the Ortelius expedition.
However, one special 'layer' that works like a charm: Seeing Penguins, getting acquainted with them and taking photos and shoot film- one forgets the cold through the intensity of the experience.
About gloves - Photographers tweak
The last minute very thick gloves we bought were Excellent. For the Left Hand that was. I am right handed, and I can't photograph with a glove on like that. A thin woolen glove did not work and without a glove- hand is freezing. Hm.
So mister Scissor came to the rescue: cut of the top to right hand thumb and the forefinger, and the right hand stayed kinda non-frozen and could work the essential dails on the Canon camera!