Thursday, December 13, 2012

Paradise Bay

13 Dec. 2012 
Jackie Jaeger/Michelle Baker 
Note: Italicized questions are for schools that are following the blog.

Location: Paradise Bay
Latitude: 64 degrees 51.9 minutes south
Longitude: 62 degrees 49.7.3 minutes west
Sunrise: 2:50 AM
Sunset will be at 23:24.
Question: What is the equivalent in Pacific Standard Time?
Air temperature this morning: +1 degrees Celsius
Question: What is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit?
Water temperature: +1 degrees Celsius
Calm weather conditions all day.

View Larger Map

The Antarctic campers returned safely early this morning after a once in a lifetime experience. Today, our first excursion was at 9:00 am to Neko Harbor. Some of the group did yoga on the beach. Ms. Jaeger being a yogi participated and notes that it is not very easy to do yoga with Gum boots on and lots of clothing layers. There will be a small group of people in the world that can say they did yoga on the beach in the Antarctic Peninsula. The rest of the group took a hike up a snowy mountain to visit a Gentoo penguin rookery.

Question: What color is penguin poop? (Hint, it’s not black & white.)

Also, at the top of the mountain there were nesting Skua birds.

Question: What part does the Skua bird play in the Antarctic food chain?

Wildlife viewing is the best during the Zodiac rides. Today we saw Crabeater and Weddel seals and many Gentoo penguins. A large group of penguins swimming together is called a raft of penguins. We saw several rafts of penguins.

After lunch we boarded the Zodiacs again and went to Danco Island. Light snow was falling and the island was very light low cloud. We landed on the beach, where some of the group stayed and observed the penguins. Others went to the top of the snowy mountain. A large iceberg close to beach in the Errera Channel weighing probably thousands of tons and containing ice thousands of years old cracked and began to rock back and forth in the water. We were lucky enough to see it, hear it, and record it digitally. The motion sent a wave onto the beach. One Zodiac that was unloading turned and took the people back out in the channel to ride the wave. Others of us scurried up the hill off the beach, and still others in the kayaks turned into the wave. When all was settled the wave was very small but the iceberg seemed to be set free and it started drifting rapidly with the current in the channel. All were well and the natural phenomenon was spectacular.

Following dinner Dr. Peg Rees presented “Doing Geology in Antarctica: A Short Story of Eight Field Seasons in the Transantarctic Mountains.”

We will close for tonight. It is around 11:00 pm and the sun is just setting: It is a spectacular site. Tomorrow we will be back on the Zodiacs early to explore more wonders of Antarctica.

No comments:

Post a Comment