The Bay of Whales has a well-known name despite being seldomly visited. The activities from last night poured into the wee hours of the day like a cascading waterfall off the face of a nearby glacier. Sounds of excitement burst forth each time the killer whales surfaced. These Type C killer whales have the given name “Ross Sea Killer Whales” due to their ever presence in the region. Perhaps the most stunning realization of this particular viewing is that we were able to see the Ross Ice Shelf directly beyond the killer whales; absolutely marvelous viewing conditions. As our ship gently glided away towards our next destination, the people onboard were almost too excited to go to sleep – almost.
Waking this morning was easier than expected despite previous festivities. This is most likely due to the incredibly calm conditions we faced throughout the day. Flat calm seas with little wind meant that scanning for wildlife was a breeze. We spotted the odd Antarctic minke whale throughout the day and enjoyed the off and on dancing flight of South Polar skuas around the ship. Shortly after lunch, our Expedition Leader announced that we were fast approaching the latitude and longitude of the International Date Line. Guests were invited onto the bridge to watch the maps to determine when the exact moment was. Almost simultaneously, we encountered minke whales doing small breaches at the surface. It was if they were celebrating with us and guiding us into the future. Words and photographs cannot accurately depict the feeling that the day brought. We simply cannot wait to see what Antarctica and the Ross Sea have in store for us tomorrow.