Crystal Sound, Detaille Island

Well, I never thought that I would be sailing as far south as I have.  It all depends on the ice conditions on where the Explorer is actually headed. I can now officially say that I have crossed the Antarctic Circle, 66 degrees 33 minutes south are the exact calculations. The crossing last night was slowly around the area north of the Gullet, which is formed a series of passages that lead further south.
Emperor Penguins
It’s been an awesome amazing blissful morning on deck.  I can’t describe it cos it’s one of those experiences that can only be felt by the soul.  I quite enjoyed looking straight over the bow while the ship was navigating through the ice. I did see the reflection of the ship as well from time to time; it depends on how clear the visibility is. It’s amazing to see it break & watch the ice drift away. Rare treats were in the cards with some minkes around & seals too.  The big star of the morning was the pair of Emperor Penguins on an iceberg. Oh it was lovely to watch & to see fresh tracks in the ice along with their behaviors.  I have quite enjoyed admiring the beauty of the icebergs.  I saw a Russian research vessel in the distance too. From time to time you will see a ship & you never know what else you will see. Beauty is around the corner just makes it mine. The sound of the ice is like a huge downpour is one way of putting it; don’t be excepting to sleep through it either. Ah, moments like these you learn to live again.
After the spectacular showing, Jason one of the naturalist, gave a talk about some aspects of the geology of Antarctica Peninsular, ice forms, & glaciology. It was very interesting. I listened to it from my cabin as I was I was editing my photos. Antarctica was once in the position of where present day Alaska is & the continents all changes from continental drift & plate tectonics. Also, researches referred to Antarctica as the “ice” when they say “I’m going to the ice” rather than saying Antarctica. It’s definitely the land of the ice!
British Base "W"
 There’s an island called Detaille that is just below the Antarctica Circle is the exact port of call.  It’s a relatively small island that has a very important historic significance. During 1956 a small weather observation station was built on this remote island by the British government. It was manned only for three years before it was evacuated in a tremendous hurry.  The men station there had to pack up quickly all of their items that they could transport it by a dogsled to a ship waiting along in the distant edge of the sea ice. The base is like a museum today with every thing that was left behind back in 1959. The building is not large at all. A team has been trying to restore Base W (as it is now know as).  There is a post office here that is the first south of the Antarctic Circle that the Antarctic Heritage Trust has restored & set up.
I quite enjoyed myself on shore at the British Base. It’s amazing to see how a working base in Antarctica was or still is. It is preserved very well & fun to look around at the items that were abandoned. The Explorer is kind enough to pick up the researchers & give them a lift back. From time to time the Explorer is known to do acts of kindness. I had a chance to play in the snow after checking out the base with a hike up to a look out to check out the Adelie Penguins. I did notice that the snow had penguin feathers in it tho.  I also had an opportunity to take a Zodiac cruise with Bud the EL, where I got to check out the Adelie’s swimming in the ocean & a few seals too. Overall it has been another enjoyable day in the ice. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this place from the researchers we just picked up.  Adventure is always around the corner…

“The ocean is everything. It gives us oxygen & food, it makes out lives possible, & it makes us dream of worlds unimaginable. Without the ocean we would not be human.”
~Enric Sala

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