Day 11: Cuverville Island, Brown Base and Camping (Antarctica)

Saturday, January 6th 2018, Day of the holy three kings

Day 5 of G Adventures – Antarctica Classic – Booking code: XVCASX

The program for today from the whiteboard:

The weatherforecast is very promising.

If I look out of my window, thats true: Weather gets better.

Blue sky and sunshine since 02:53 am. Expected sunset at 11:37 pm. There is not much darkness these days in Antarctica. We cruised to Cuverville island, Antarctica main land.

Since the first day we are divided up in “Zodiac groups“, named with a penguin species. I am a Macaroni (All the kayakers are, we made Heather and Ben Macaronis, too). If we go for an expedition, all passengers are called from John via intercom by “Zodiac Group”. Therefore everybody has enough space to change to expedition gear in the mudroom. Usually all Zodiac groups go out at the both side doors of the mudroom, quickly after each other. That is one of the reasons why we have chosen the G Expedition. No other boat has enough Zodiacs available to bring all passengers at once to the waters (14 ! by 12 passengers and 134 passengers on the G Expedition at all).

So, plan for Cuverville Island is to go on land, climb the top of a hill of some 100 masl (they say). Since wind is calm, it is blue sky, we try again to go out for kayaking before lunch.

After kayaking I am frozen. I give the board sauna a try. Supertiny but ok. American style – nudity strictly forbidden, please wear a jacket. You have to heat up 2 hours before, than the oven may get 75 °C. Bio-style.

At lunch there is riot as a bunch of humpback whales show up around the ship continously, coming up for breathing (blowing out fountains). After blowing out they slowly dive down again with tail fin up. Everybody sacrifices creme brulee and runs for the camera.

After lunch plan is to go to main antarctic peninsula. If weather is calm and ice conditions are fine, we will either kayak again or visit and argentinian antarctic station and immigrate Antarctica (and get a stamp in our passports).

We decide for the Brown base and Zodiac. So we land on the argentinian antarctic brown station. They have no stamps for the passport. Big disappointment on the vessel. We walk up the next hill (Brown base mountain).

It is super blue sky, sunny. Ben decided to wear his tuxedo and get a photo with a penguin.

Snowy “Brown Base Moutain” is quite steep, so everybody has to slide down on sitting (rodeln für anfänger, the ozzies and other who rather have snow were superexcited).

Afterwards we drive around with the zodiacs in the “dream lagoon”, before we go home for an early italian dinner at 06:30 pm.

Evening plan is to cross to main land in the zodiacs with the camping equipment, set up our tents in the ice and sleep on Antarctica. We get again a short introduction in tent setup, dress up the as much of the warmest stuff we have (I wear 5 layers on upper body, 4 layers on legs, 3 pairs of socks – if a penguin wants to eat me, he will die of starvation while unwrapping me), grab our tents, isolation mats, polar sleeping bags and of we go to the campsite.

Sun will set at 23:36 and up at 3:30 but there will be no darkness; wake up call 5:30 am to be brought back to the vessel right for breakfast.

We decide to go for a beachfront campsite sunset view:

Who build the Obelisk to mark his territory?

The isolation mat gives not a lot of isolation. The night is very frosty. Good night, John boy.

map of todays cruise:

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