The seas are relatively calm (at least that's what they tell us) so we are making excellent time. We know in the morning that we'll see land before the end of the day.
The weather has changed quite a bit
but in the evening we are at the South Shetland Islands. We take a Zodiac cruise (meaning no landing) around the south side of Nelson Island. Many birds are seen: Penguins (mostly Chinstrap, a few Gentoo, a few Adelie, Blue Eyed Comorant, cape petrels, skuas (much bigger than I had imagined), great southern petrels. I spot the first Adelie and then I am the first to spot some elephant seals.
The penguin colony, for Chinstraps, had, at a guess 20,000 short cute things. It was awesome and a bit mind numbing, and this one wasn't considered particularly large.
In a journal I hope to keep (I fail, thus these strangely tensed retrospectives) I write:
It is hard to write about our adventures here. At the end of the day writing things down seems like a chore. A chore that can't possibly represent the real experience with very much accuracy. I spent hours on the very top deck of the boat, where the wind and snow blows stiff and very cold, looking out on the open sea, watching the petrels and albatross. Standing there, doing nothing more, was one of those perfect moments. A moment that cannot be traded.