Antarctica - Day 6: Petermann Island & Yalour Islands
We woke up at 6:30 AM to an announcement from Shane that we were on track to zodiac cruise and (hopefully) land at Petermann Island. The island was discovered by August Petermann, a German explorer, during an expedition between 1873 & 1874. It was where Jean-Baptiste Charcot spent a winter in 1909.
We had a zodiac cruise and landing scheduled, but I wasn’t optimistic that I would be able to land at this one either as it was more rocky conditions. That being said, it was our first try at the new and improved method of getting off and on the zodiac. This time, I sat on a box outside the on the loading platform and grabbed two people’s hands inside the zodiac before getting in. It worked much better than the first day!
We then cruised around, in much nicer weather than the first day and humpback whales literally surrounded or zodiac. It was so amazing! I also learned that my Google Pixel 7 Pro camera was better than my semi-professional Sony camera when I don't need to zoom far away. The pictures of whales came out much better than the day before and required a lot less editing!
Petermann Island is also home to an Argentine research base and lots of gentoo penguins.
After lunch, we zodiac cruised around the Yalour Islands. They were discovered by Charcot between 1903 & 1905. The main draw of the island is that it is home to over 8,000 pairs of Adelie penguins!
The beauty around us was astounding as we took our zodiac around.
We had another whale sighting, but they didn't want to surface as much as the other whales did we came across so far this trip.
Before we pulled the anchors up, everyone on the boat had the opportunity to do a Polar Plunge! While I likely would have done it, I took a look at the setup and realized that it was something I would need to pass on. It is off of a landing area which requires you to climb up and down metal stairs to get there. Then, once you are down on the platform, you jump off and need to climb up a ladder to get back on the boat. It was something that would have been cool to say I did, but it just wasn't practical. I did, however, get to see other people do it including my brother (see below) and even my Dad!
Video courtesy of Quark Expeditions
That evening, we sailed northbound through the Lemaire Channel. This time, we were able to see the beauty that we weren’t able to see through the fog on the way down a few days prior.