Christmas on Antarctica

28 December 2017

We’ve only been in Antarctica a few days but already we’ve packed in so much.

Arriving in Antarctica you could see people’s spirits visibly lifting after surviving Drake’s Passage. The atmosphere was just full of excitement rising. I was just glad to make it there in time for Christmas, that the weather had been kind to us so that we could have a proper Christmas in Antarctica and a white Christmas.

Christmas Eve was lovely. We made it ashore in Yankee Harbour where we were greeted by Gentoo penguins and crabeater seals. It might have been in a snow storm but nobody cared. We were all just so happy to be there and be surrounded by them. Penguins being the reason many come to Antartica; to see them so soon was exciting. And I was so excited to see the 5 seals I came across. I’ve already taken so many photos, and just know I will take thousands more. We then had our Christmas dinner, a team effort to cook and everyone squished round the table together. Music playing, people singing and lots of laughter.

Christmas, you couldn’t have scripted it better. It certainly was a special Christmas to remember. I woke up to blue skies for the first time and opened my presents straight away (thanks guys!) And after a fancy breakfast we left for Deception Island. And the views were just stunning, blue skies and you could see so far. It was just pleasant sailing for what can be a rather hostile place. But what was perfect was just the amount of whales we saw. Including seeing a mother and calf close to the boat. Again excitement was high. We arrived at Deception Island, sailing through Neptune’s Bellows which was an impressive sight with the dark rocks towering over us. And stark contrast to the white. And just the icing on my Christmas cake was arriving at our anchorage to have yet another seal hauled out nearby. The nights again the boat was filled with Christmas music and laughter. A game of spoons got quite competitive to decide who would smash the gingerbread house.

And boxing day was still following in the Christmas traditions from home. I got chance to go for a short walk along the beach to go see my seal friend. It turns out there are two seals in this bay that are friends. And that afternoon we all headed off to go for a swim and do the boxing day dip. It was still cold but we cheated, going in the thermal waters of Deception Island. It was one of my Antarctic bucket list things ticked off!

And now we leave for the mainland tomorrow, the adventure continues and I cant wait to see what else we manage to pack into all the time we have left here.

Love to all my family and friends out there. Hope you had a good Christmas, and Happy New Year if I don’t get chance to write before then.

Laura

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