First day of getting off the boat!! It was so nice getting into one of the channels last night and the boat stopped swaying a ton. I actually got a good 6 hours of sleep – super happy about that! This morning after breakfast some people headed out to go mountaineering and others kayaking. Everyone else got onto the Zodiacs and went ashore to go snowshoeing and take a photography tour. I have never been snowshoeing – I was expecting what you see in the old movies where the shoes are quite massive – the newer ones that they have out are quite sleek and easy to use. We went up about 50 meters up the same hill the mountaineers went up and then continued around a big loop looking at the amazing landscapes and Gentoo penguins. The penguins are EVERYWHERE!!! While they smell, they aren’t as bad as the sea lions in the Galapagos so I am fine with that! Many of the penguins were still sitting on top of the egg they have which should be hatching any day now. It reminded me of the bald eagle camera since they use their feet to rotate the eggs while they incubate the egg. The penguins have what is known as penguin highways – they use these to walk both up and down the hills. How these dopey penguins walk up hill on a slick chute like “road” is beyond me. The penguins would come within feet of you if you didn’t move out of their way. Here the penguins have the right of way so you need to make sure you get out of their way! We returned back to the boat for lunch and dry off since many of us were laying in the snow to get some good pictures.
In the afternoon we went to Danko Island. I was part of the photography group, but I just walked around the rocky beaches with one of the guides and a few other people. A very large group did a snowshoeing trip up this crazy steep mountain – and you could see many of them falling on the way down. Snowshoes are meant for going up hill – not downhill!!! We got to see some more penguins and I had to start telling myself I needed to stop taking pictures of the penguins. I think I took over 400 pictures in about a 4 hour time frame of these two islands and penguins.
One of the groups is going out camping tonight. I will be doing that tomorrow night! It is mid 30’s during the day and today I got super hot just walking around I was taking off many layers. If only I had known to pack for Pennsylvania I could have saved myself SO much money!! I don’t even need my ski pants – just my waterproof day ones I would wear in the winter at home. I am also going to be doing the ski kayaking tomorrow. The wetsuit the lady gave me to try on – lets just put it this way – I looked and felt like a penguin walking down the hall and stairs to show here it did NOT fit. I was like a sausage in a casing. Luckily she had a larger size because that was just not happening!
Right before I headed back to bed, there was multiple humpback whales fluking outside of the boat. They haven’t gotten as close as the ones that I saw in Boston the one time I took a whale trip, but it is amazing to see them up against the most surreal landscapes. Heading to bed early tonight – I am so exhausted!!