Day 12: Lemaire channel (Antarctica)

Sunday, January 7th 2018

Day 6 of G Adventures – Antarctica Classic – Booking code: XVCASX

“Good morning … good morning Ladies and Gentlemen! Today is Sunday, seventh of January 2018. Local time 6:30 am. Expedition is currently at anchor in leaf harbor, nice bay. Our position 64 degrees 41 minutes south, 62 degrees 49 minutes west. Sea state is dead flat calm. Skys are overcast, visibility is good. 3 nautical miles this morning. Outside temperature minus 2 degrees Celsius, 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds: allow 2 to 4 knots from the north, northeast, the barometer has fallen slightly, no reasons for concern this moment. Breakfast will be served in half an hour at 7 o’clock. A very good morning to all.”

Wakeup call at 5:30 am. The night was freezing cold. As we wake up, the tent is covered in frozen condesed water. Going to a porta potti at -10° in the night about 500 meters in the soft snow is a challenge. But, the earlier it get, the harder (frozen) the snow. To get out of the mummy bag in a 0.5 pax tent like a circus artist and into 2 additional (cold) trousers and frozen rubber arctic boots is a challenge, but there is no option.

Slept on 7 continents (maybe 8 if EnZed is one, too). Peed on 7 (to 8) continents. Done this, seen that.

The sky is dark grey. Rush, we have to pack tent, sleeping bags, and get a zodiac to the warm ship and breakfast.

In Antarctica the morning at 5:30 am is quiet and sleepy. We sail further south.

Todays program and weather forecast are already on the whiteboard:

Before noon we cross the Lemaire Channel. There are lots of penguins, seals, humpback whales in the water. Finally people rush out as there are two families of orcas in the water.

Until we finally reach the Lemaire Channel:

On the bow deck crew builds up a station with hot chocolate (of course with optional rum):

The Lemaire Channel is on the narrowest point less than 1000 m wide and has steep cliffs on both up to 700 meters high on both sides. It is one of the top attractions of an Antarctic cruise if able to pass the iceberg-filled passage.

Captain PushPush hitting the Ice:

Through Lemaire Channel

While the other passengers get drunk from rum and cold outside, I decide to use the gym and go for a 10k run. What do you see if you run? Icebergs?

After lunch we have a quick kajaking briefing and get ready for kajaking again.

The Zodiac land cruise would be an abandoned antarctic station and a walk on a 40 m hill. The kajaker will circle around the close by island. We do 10k kayaking (the stretching and upper body part of todays training). We see lots of swimming penguins, minky whales and lazy seals on ice schelfs.

In the evening there is outdoor antarctic barbecue. What has to be in the luggage of a good Austrian in occasion of a barbecue?

And then, to the vessels bar …

I am so cold i have to heat up in the board sauna. Agaim i am not able to get more than 65° out of the oven, i substitute with ice on top of the oven.

In the night we turn around and go north again. Map of the day:

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