We awoke aboard National Geographic Explorer to brilliant blue skies and glassy waters. Here in Cierva Cove our ship was completely surrounded by glaciers and enormous icebergs. We were all mesmerized by the beautiful blue ice sculpted by wind, water, and time. We spent the morning Zodiac-cruising amongst the ice, learning about the Argentine Base Primavera, and watching penguins porpoise. We also discovered a small island in the cove that is a nesting site to all three brushtail penguin species: gentoo, Adelie, and chinstrap!

Just as we headed into lunch a leopard seal was spotted resting on an iceberg, and we all piled onto the bow to quietly observe. After we were all happy and with full stomachs, we took advantage of the calm conditions and set out for kayaking, while the undersea team went out for a dive. Everyone was full smiles when the kayaking finished, and we could excitedly jump into the freezing cold water for the polar plunge.

We set sail out of the cove, heading further south through Bransfield Strait towards the Lemaire Channel. The waters in this area are so productive. We came upon an amazing sight: a single humpback whale blowing bubble rings! Only a small percentage of humpback whales in Antarctica (and in the world) utilize this feeding technique.

And the day was not over yet! The amazing galley team cooked up a wonderful dinner for us — a delicious buffet of Filipino food, including a roasted suckling pig, and so many yummy desserts. To top it off we had a show-and-dance party by the world’s most traveled resident house band, the Spice Boys. A full and wonderful day was had by all!