Thursday, February 28, 2008

Continuing On

Time for another Antarctica trip installment...

After the terrifying Explorer rescue the morning of November 23, 2007, our Captain and Expedition Leader held a meeting with everyone to share information about what they knew and to answer questions. At that early point in time, not much was understood about what actually caused the Explorer to sink, though the obvious guess was that it had struck an iceberg near its engine room. When asked, "How could something like this happen, in this day and age, with all this technology?" our Captain simply said, "I've known the Captain of the Explorer for several years and I know that he was distraught, and so I didn't think it was an appropriate time to ask him what happened this morning." (The Explorer's Captain and Expedition Leader were the last two people to leave the ship.)

Once the rescue was over and everyone was safe, our ship turned back to its original route. Later that afternoon, we made a landing at Half Moon Island in the middle of a snowstorm. It was the only day of crappy weather during our entire voyage. Quite honestly, I think everyone would've been a little disappointed if we hadn't gotten the chance to brave the elements, so it was fun (in a twisted way).

Plus, once you get close to all of the goofy penguins, it makes getting pelted by blowing snow in every direction totally worth it.

You may have to click the picture above to enlarge it, but there are a bunch of penguins burrowed into the snow with just their heads peeking out. That's what happens when they go to sleep on their bellies and then the snow keeps piling up around them. They seem to like it.

The little guy below was, no lie, "tobogganing" down a hill on his belly. Since there's so much snow it's kind of hard to tell that he's propelling downward (you can see people climbing up, though), but trust me, he was. It was hilarious.

Below you can barely make out our ship in the distance... that's how crappy the weather was.

After we left Half Moon, we made our way into a caldera. We ended up coming back to this spot later on our trip, so I'll talk more about it then, but needless to say, it was ridiculously windy.

After that, I headed back to my cabin to attempt to unsnarl my hair and rest after what was one of the most eventful days I've ever had.

- e

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