December 05, 2012 – Vernadskiy Station/Petermann Island, Antarctica
Posted on December 6th, 2012
Temperature: 30˚F (-1˚C)
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Cloud Cover: 5%
We pulled the drapes in our suites back and, once again, found bright blue skies. We really had great weather on our side.
Having traversed the Lemaire Channel last night, ‘Le Boreal’ slowed to a crawl through the early morning hours. Just before 0800, Captain Garcia brought the vessel into position off of the Argentine Islands and to our landing at the Ukrainian scientific base, Vernadskiy.
Vernadskiy is a small station and we were able to have only a maximum of fifty people ashore at one time. Larry and Marco Favero, our expedition leader, put together a cunning plan for the Zodiac drivers and a schedule that could easily go amiss if not followed exactly. Lucky for us, all went as planned.
After our special visit with the group at Vernadskiy, the last of us returned to ‘Le Boreal’ to join our fellow guests for a wonderful barbeque on the pool deck. Soaking in the surprisingly warm Antarctic sun, we enjoyed our lunch as the ship slowly made way for our next destination.
Arriving at 1430, the expedition team and crew jumped into action and before we knew it, we were being whisked ashore at Petermann Island. Just south of the Lemaire Channel, Petermann is home to breeding colonies of Adélie and gentoo penguins as well as Blue-eyed Cormorants. As we made our way around the island, we were able climb to one of its highest peaks. With an amazing view to the southwest and as far as the eye could see, we spied hundreds upon hundreds of icebergs. It was one of the most striking visions we had seen.
Back onboard ‘Le Boreal,’ we fell into what has become our normal routine: grabbing a quick shower and joining Larry and the team to find out what they had planned for us tomorrow.
– Chris Srigley, Naturalist