Day 13: Port Charcot & Palmer Station (Antarctica)

Monday, January 8th 2018

Day 7 of G Adventures – Antarctica Classic – Booking code: XVCASX

How nice to sleep in a bed again after camping in the ice. First thing we heard was the wake up signal and Johns voice at 6:30 am as everyday.  

transcript: “Good morning … good morning Ladies and Gentlemen! Today is Monday, 8th January 2017. Local time 6:30 am. Expedition is currently at anchor at Port Chalcort. Our position is 65°03 south, 64°01 west. Sea state: dead flat calm. Skies are blue, with bright sunshine. Outside temperature is pretty cool -3° C, 27° Fahrenheit. Winds are gentle 10 to 13 knots from the Northeast. Barometer is steady. Breakfast will be served in half an hour at 7:00 o’clock. A very good morning to all…”

It is true. If I look out of my window, it looks like this …

After breakfast we bought postcards and stamps to send holiday messages from Antarcticas only post station. International service is not so bad, they take only 2 USD for the stamp. 21 cards, 80 usd, weird divisor.

Program for today is on the whiteboard. Weather forecasts is still fine for Antarctica:

Then all groups are put on zodiacs at once to do a 2 hour zodiac cruise. Fantastic icebergs, groups of seals, penguins, some minky whales … we grab out a superclear iceblock from the water, it is sweet (not salty).

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Tastes really sweet, no saltwater in it. This is, as I was explained later, 1000 year old ice from the mainland. It was created by snow, than pressure made it clear, then it broke of and now its melting. Perfect ice block for my Gin Tonic (is there malaria in Antarctica?).

In the afternoon we visit US permanent Antarctic Palmer Station. That’s what we traveled so far:

A guide explains us about the living there:

They even have the boom box here (but maybe it is the US “No global warming – BOOOOM” – box)

They do the best (and only available) brownies is Antarctica …

We go back to the ship and continue northbound as John announced, that humpback whales are playing around the vessel. The captain starts to go in circles (the whales like that, russians know) and suddenly a baby whale comes up jumping.

whale jumping

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