Friday, January 2, 2009

Antarctic Tumble

I had my first mishap today when I took a tumble in the zodiac boat in rough waters. The zodiacs pull up beside the  lower side of the large boat to a door opening (on the side of the hull) where you embark or disembark the zodiac. The ocean was rough today with waves and swells. The zodiac was bobbing up and down more than 6 feet! All of a sudden as I was stepping up on the pontoon edge to get onto the large boat I went down hard. Thankfully I fell back into the zodiac and not into the ocean. However, I of course hit the corner of the wooden storage chest in the zodiac and now sport a large bruise and scrape on my backside. But all is well, except for perhaps again my pride. I was approached by another guest who, of course, had been taking pictures of the zodiac disembark from the boat deck above and caught the action as he was in rapid picture mode. So tomorrow I should be able to see the 10 action shots and rate my dismount. I think it is a clear 9.5.

Prior to the little tumble, I was exploring St Andrew’s Bay, on South Georgia Island, this afternoon which is home to the largest King Penguin colony in the area. There were also hundreds of assorted seals, mostly fur seals with some elephant seals mixed in. One teenage fur seal charged us but we successfully evaded. The seals are adorable. The King Penguins currently have chicks who are nearly as big as they are but covered in “grizzly bear brown” down feathers. In the morning we took a zodiac tour of Cooper Bay to observe the Macaroni Penguins and assorted seals as it was too dangerous to land. National Geographic/Lidbald Expeditions area really excellent at ensuring guests are well informed and that we all adhere to respecting the wildlife. Honestly, none of the critters seem bothered by us and they are to always be given the right of way. We ensure that we do not get too close, nor interfere. 

We will spend another 3 days in South Georgia and will then head to the Falklands. 

No comments: