Day 22 February 13th

Day 22

Tuesday, February 13th

Fish Islands, Prospect Point

This morning we did a zodiac cruise through the pack ice and icebergs on our way to the Minnows.  The Fish Islands are individual islands that are named after different fish species:  Flounder, Plaice, Trout, Salmon and the islets known as The Minnows!

We began our zodiac cruise south of these islands. Following the edge we headed north. We took our time and attempted to traverse the narrow passages between the icebergs, brash & forming sea ice. The sky was overcast, and at times a brisk wind carried snowflakes onto our faces.  At one point we were worried that we wouldn’t make it to see our 7th species of penguin, the Adelie!IMG_2239IMG_2240IMG_2245IMG_2251

At least we saw 2 Adelie penguins on an sea ice and a seal resting!

Our first glimpse of the Adelie penguin.
This pair was moving all around the ice!
He just looked at us because we were disturbing his rest!

We saw some incredible looking icebergs.  You know how you see shapes in clouds, we were doing the same with the icebergs.  It was impressive the color and shape variances.  Some of the icebergs appeared to be illuminated and some are so blue.  They are spectacular!  IMG_2253IMG_2283IMG_2284IMG_2295IMG_2301IMG_2311

We finally made it and had a short time to observe the Adelie penguins at The Minnows, which are low-lying, rocky outcrops. They are occupied by Adélie penguins, with an estimated 1600 breeding pairs between 12 colonies. Blue-eyed shags also breed on the islands and a few were seen flying back to check on their chicks!

The Adelie penguins are the smallest of the Antarctic penguins.  They are about 2 feet tall and weigh 8-9 pounds!  If you’ve ever read the children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Captain Cook is an Adelie penguin.IMG_2334IMG_2321IMG_2315

It was very cold on the zodiac due to the wind and waves that got us very wet.  The temperature was about 37 degrees F.

After lunch we were going to try to kayak but it was canceled due to the windy conditions.  We went on zodiacs over to Prospect Point.

Prospect Point was our second continental landing.IMG_2347


Here we saw the remains of a British Surveying and Geological Base J.  This base was occupied from 1957-1959.  There are remains of seals (they are mummified from many winters) that were used to feed the dogs.

British Base J
The remains of J.
A few of the mummified seals.
A close up of a seal.

There was a hike up the snow to a beautiful view of the area.IMG_2386IMG_2392IMG_2381IMG_2395IMG_2423

It was another day of adventure in Antarctica!

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