We are back on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, as the ice was too thick on the east. The weather is a bit colder, but the stoke is still high.

We got a 6am wakeup call for an early zodiac cruise through the icebergs near Gregory Glacier. It’s not as sunny as yesterday and the winds have picked up. Ruth is glad she brought her big puffy jacket for an extra layer. I got some good shots under the moody skies, a Weddell seal chilling on the ice, and penguins climbing a cliff to their nests.

Gloomy Iceberg
Gloomy Iceberg
Weddell Seal Whiskers
Weddell Whiskers
Chinstrap Exiting the Beach
Chinstrap Climbing

Back on the ship, I went for up to the gym. It’s the best view I think I’ve ever had on a run without a ton of elevation gain. Then a quick sauna to relax, and to the library to relax and review photos with a view of the glacier.

In the afternoon we heard a naturalist talk about her “Life on the Ice”, researching seal populations, which included some great recordings of the sounds they make as they pop up through their holes to get air.

Another landing at Cuverville Island to see a huge gentoo colony. It was a little exciting to get out there with larger waves than we’ve had before, but the crew made us all feel safe. Once on land, we got a whiff of their serious smell. Late snow made for a tough breeding season, and the rock rings that they build for nests didn’t let their excrement wash out. In these photos, everything you see that’s brown is penguin poop. There’s no dirt here, just rocks, snow, and birds.

Gentoo Colony
Gentoo Colony at Cuverville Island
Shitty Feet
Shitty Feet
Going for a Bath
Going for a Swim
Gentoo Feet
Clean Again

I hung out a bit with actual National Geographic photographer Tommy Heinrich, who was nice to give a bit of guidance about shooting wildlife.

After recap, we had dinner, and made a quick stop to Port Lockroy. I had hoped to land here myself and meet the all female postal team, but instead they dropped our postcards off while we waited on the ship. Not a bad view though.

Port Lockroy and the Seven Sisters
Port Lockroy and the Seven Sisters

Then we sleep to prepare for the passing the Lemaire Channel in the morning.