The fin whale appeared suddenly, coming towards the ship from the three o’clock position and offering us a couple of quick views before it was gone. A little while later, a few minke whales were sighted. One moment, they were rushing about the place, and the next, they were swimming slowly. These cetaceans showed typical feeding behavior. Thus began this new day of our Antarctic adventure.
Throughout the day there were a number of presentations with opportunities to learn something new about the incredible places we are visiting. During the morning, we enjoyed the following presentations: “Who’s Boss?: Leadership in Antarctic Expeditions,” by Gabriela Roldán and, “Wildlife Photography: Creative and Technical Advice,” by Jeff Mauritzen. In the afternoon, we had a sketching class with Marylou Blakeslee and a talk by Richard E. Byrd entitled, “In Flight and Alone in Antarctica.”
During the afternoon, several tours of the galley were offered. Guests had the opportunity to see the galley and learn more about what is entailed in getting delicious food to our plates every day and how fruits and vegetables are kept fresh on long expeditions.
We remain enthralled by the ice. We sailed through magnificent icescapes, including flat sea ice, some of them multiyear. We observed myriad forms of ice that originally came down from the huge Antarctic glaciers before spilling into the Amundsen Sea as icebergs. We spotted tabular bergs and jumbled icebergs with seracs and crevasses. Some of the icebergs have caves, and some have arches. Some are white, some have cobalt blue streaks, and some have ice stalactites. As these monstrous icebergs slowly melt, they take on the most incredible variety of shapes, causing our imaginations to run wild as we see all manner of things and beings in these magnificent, sculpted pieces of ice. But it is not only about what is seen above the surface but also what is below. The waters take on deep blue and turquoise hues as ice juts into the dark and clear waters of the Southern Ocean. The pack ice displays dendrite-like structures, often filled with holes. Throughout the day, we desperately tried to represent these marvelous icescapes with our different cameras and devices. Most images will fall short, but thankfully our extraordinary minds are more than capable of storing the incredible visions we enjoyed throughout this day.