The morning brought happy rays of sunshine that danced across the bay and nearby icebergs. Another day, it seemed, where Captain Martin and his crew successfully sheltered us from the wind. Soon after enjoying the peaceful daybreak, National Geographic Resolution encountered just what our guests had been hoping for–fast ice, or sea ice attached to land. All too often, fast ice is too brittle and not thick enough for the adventures our expedition leader has in mind. Staff members scouted the ice to ensure that it was indeed thick enough to allow guests to have a safe and truly remarkable experience. Suddenly, people from a wide array of backgrounds took to the ice. Walking around, guests glanced at the odd Adelie penguin and took pictures with the vessel. It’s not every day that you can walk on top of 340 meters of ocean water!
The afternoon brought overcast skies and calm waters with no wind in sight. Expedition leader Peter Wilson saw this as a unique opportunity to launch personal vessels for each of our guests–kayaks! Peter exclaimed gleefully, “To be the master of one’s seas is a rare occurrence in today’s society. We figured, why not? We have the tools and incredible conditions. Let’s get our guests out there to take advantage of it!” We couldn’t have been happier to encourage our guests to take up paddles and venture out on their own.
During the kayak operation, our Undersea Team took out their ROV, a Remotely Operated Vehicle, to see what sort of wildlife could be observed in these docile waters. Guests who chose not to kayak were gifted with another chance to get up close and personal with the penguins and seals in this area aboard a gentle Zodiac cruise. The brave among us accepted the challenge to jump into the water for our famous Polar Plunge; what a fantastic way to celebrate Antarctica and show off our spirit on this portion of the journey. Just before dinner, our recapitulation was interrupted by a stunning pair of humpback whales that seemed all too eager to show us their tails. Today goes down as an incredibly influential one that many of us will remember for years to come.