Day 6. Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island and Pleneau Bay
This morning our ship will go through the Lemaire Channel and we are “encouraged” to watch it from the deck. At 6am I am still very tired and the sky is covered so I just stay in bed a bit longer. Was too much wine and birthday party last night! Before 7am I am outside though at the top deck, ready to enjoy the trip through the sound. It’s a great morning although the 2041 members are a bit annoying again, filming each other on the deck so you can’t really enjoy a calm morning. The mountains are very impressive and the sun is doing a good job but clouds and fog are trying hard as well.
After 45minutes my hands are frozen and I have to go inside, going for breakfast to warm up before getting out once more. As we cannot go to our originally planned site due to the ice, we end up at and around Petermann Island. For Marna and me it’s first the zodiac cruise for about an hour in a stunning surrounding. For the first time we are just amidst the snow and ice covered mountains and seeing it from the Sea which also has so many ice bergs is very special.
It’s very cold today, a few degrees less than yesterday. After an hour it’s our turn to get on Peterman Island. It’s hilly and hence provides more spectacular views! Gentoo penguins are around as well but thus time I am more fascinated by the overall view. Blue, white and turquoise ice bergs…
In the afternoon we go out for a zodiac tour in Pléneau Bay. It’s fantastic to be amidst the ice and we have very close encounters with whales. They are so huge but still elegant and your soul can only be touched when you hear them communicating with each other, breathing and blowing out their breath….
It’s pretty cold today, but nevertheless this late afternoon is the Polar plunge! What does it mean? Crazy tourists jumping into the ice cold water. It’s a real event. We change into some swimming clothes and wait in the mud room in our bathrobes – freaked out in my case. There’s music and excitement. Then you walk to the gangway, get a harness on and after some hesitation I jump into the evening sun-kissed sea. The water is about 2 degrees Celsius and although I thought I could swim at least a bit, my whole body wants to immediately get out again! A towel is handed out as I am back on the gangway and I shiver but beam, happy! I dived in Antarctica! (no pictures yet but I am waiting for them!)
A warm shower and off I go again outside to the fantastic colours of the sunset as we cruise back through the Lemaire Channel evening. It’s a highlight and I am taking endless pictures of the sun-kissed hills reflecting in the icy but still water. A perfect and peaceful moment.