Antarctica Journal Day 9: Gerlache Strait and Paradise Bay

by Keira on February 20, 2010

in Antarctica, Travel Journal

Gerlache Strait

Gerlache Strait

It was a little rocky in the night, just swaying. But not still.

6:00 AM Nothing to see.

6:45 AM Beginning to see icebergs.

Fog Rolling Across Island in Gerlache Strait

Fog Rolling Across Island in Gerlache Strait

7:15 AM Mom woke me up so I wouldn’t miss any of it. Most of the seats were full on Deck 10. At some point later in the morning they asked folks to vacate seats so others who wanted to eat could do so.

It is a cloudless, perfectly bright sunny day at this point. The lecturer said, “You folks must live right.” The daily brochure cautioned about high winds, maybe rain, and low visibility at times. It is just magnificent, one thing after another.

Keira crusing the Gerlache Strait

Keira crusing the Gerlache Strait

I suggested going to the game room which has a panoramic view of the starboard side. And we were the only ones for a long time.

I have seen whales today, more than once, blowing air up their their blowholes. No jumping though.

Snowy Islands in Gerlache Straight

Snowy Islands in Gerlache Straight

10:13 AM A few clouds now.

Gorgeous panoramic views. Mom is double layered, even though it isn’t supposed to be too cold. It is very windy. They warned us about slipperiness outside.

Rocky Island in Gerlache Straight

Rocky Island in Gerlache Straight

11:31 AM We are drifting slowly into Paradise Bay now.

I played Men vs. Women trivia followed by Deal or No Deal with Carole and Joan.

It is cold outside. One man had shorts on and was out for 2 hours and didn’t feel cold, he said. He did have a heavy jacket on though.

Entering Paradise Bay

Entering Paradise Bay

It is cold inside. The hallways and central corridors are very cold, likely from people going in and out this morning.

The view off our balcony is magnificently lovely. There are no words to describe it. At times it was mostly open sea, sprinkled with icebergs. The sea was a deep navy-black color. The spectacular view was panoramic from the side.

Beauty of Paradise Bay

Beauty of Paradise Bay

11:49 AM Seals on the port side.

12:55 PM Paradise Bay is indescribably beautiful, almost ethereal. The clouds lowered and are gray, but no rain, and no fog, so everything is very visible. It is crisp, both in visibility and in temperature. They say it is 45 degrees, but I don’t believe them. It feels very cold, especially in the wind.

Angel Wing Iceberg

Angel Wing Iceberg

Mom catnapped in the game room, ostensibly reading, but she couldn’t keep her eyes open before coming to find me for lunch.

Mom and I just finished lunch upstairs on Deck 10. Mom ran into Jimmy coming in from the outer deck. He said you really need sunglasses for glare. Mom’s glasses turned completely dark, though there is no visible sun, as there was in Gerlache Strait.

Cruising Slowly by Huge Iceberg in Paradise Bay

Cruising Slowly by Huge Iceberg in Paradise Bay

They just announced that we have turned around to head out. We will go back into Gerlache Strait for a while, then go out between two islands. In about 3 hours we will be in the open sea, so we have more photo ops between now and then.

Ice Flows

Ice Flows

We catnapped for a while on and off.

6 PM approx I was feeling ‘peckish’ as I described it at sit-down dinner, so we went up to Deck 10 and got stir fry. It was very good. I picked out the ingredients: white rice, chicken, green peas, cauliflower.

Antarctica's Paradise Bay

Antarctica's Paradise Bay

7 PM Tonight’s entertainment is Brandi Chapman and Mark Donohue. Last night at dinner Jimmy was so funny. He read this and said, with a broad smile, “Gee, reruns already!”

Jimmy and his mother didn’t show for dinner. I found out the next day, when she waved me down that they felt badly leaving their table so they ate with them last night.

Icebergs in Paradise Bay

Icebergs in Paradise Bay

8:45 PM Dinner was good. Filet for both of us; cream of potato soup; fruit; no dessert appealed to us. We were still full from 6 o’clock dinner.

11 PM After dinner we went to a dance off. Usually they pair you with someone from the captain’s staff, but the folks wanted to dance together. One couple (young Argentinean woman and elderly man from India were a hoot. They had to dance the disco. He did just great!) One couple were simply paired together and were supposed to dance the tango. They did pretty good too, surprisingly.

More Icebergs in Paradise Bay

More Icebergs in Paradise Bay

Midnight or so Mom and I decided to try the movie which had already started. We came in to it. Encounters at the End of the World. It was very interesting. It started to get creepy with deep sea diving under the iceberg without a rope – and the odd sea creatures. They had really bad popcorn! Bleck.

Mom and Keira in Paradise Bay

Mom and Keira in Paradise Bay

Back in the room, Mom was asleep by 12:30 AM or so and I stayed up until 1:45 AM or so.

Thankfully, it wasn’t rocky. I slept well.

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynn A. Reynolds February 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hi Keira:
I’m so jealous. You looked like you had a great time.
Lynn

Reply

2 Keira February 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I had a fabulous time – we had really good weather. The seas were rolling but not rough the whole time which is very unusual for the Drake Passage (considered the roughest seas in the world).

Reply

3 Karin February 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I think we should go back to Antarctica again!

Reply

4 Keira February 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I agree! Let’s do it! Maybe travel below the Antarctica Circle line this time?

Reply

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