Another amazing morning in Antarctica. Today we found the whales!
The ship docked up in Charlotte’s Bay – a glassy harbour surrounded by looming white glaciers over black rock, and home to large arctic-blue icebergs. Some icebergs had deep holes or caves in them, and we saw carving inside of one of these cavities.
A pod (if not pods) of humpback whales were breaching metres from our kayaks. A whale came up in front of me, mouth first, and I could make out the balaena and barnacles on its black coat. Some had a bright yellowy-orange colour on the underside of their tail which you could see as the tail came up and rolled into the ocean again.
In the afternoon, zodiacs carried some of us onshore to Portal Point. We saw a big Weddell seal lazing on the ice, fur seals playing around on the water and sliding on the ice, and a lone penguin looking for some friends. Overhead there were dozens of Antarctic shags flying above us.
We have arrived in perfect conditions to spend a night on the ice! After dinner we plan to kayak out to our own camping spot (for the Inspiring Explorers group), dig us some holes in the snow, and hunker down in bivouac sleeping bags for the night. We are all beaming about this rare opportunity.