Saturday, January 27, 2024

Antarctica 2023-4 - Day 11 - 1/5/2024 - Foyn Harbour & Cuverville Island

We would spend the next couple of days in the area that the expedition leader referred to as “Downtown Peninsula”. This is the area that most Antarctic tourist expeditions visit. For the morning, we sailed down the Gerlache Strait and hung out in Foyn Harbour. We did a zodiac cruise that took us by a shipwreck (Guvernøren) of an old whaling company. A cool aspect of this cruise is that the ship sailed off afer dropping us off, and the zodiacs caught up to it down the harbor after cruising around.

Guvernøren shipwreck

The afternoon excursion was to nearby Cuverville Island, home to a Gentoo penguin colony. The cruise portion wove through an “iceberg graveyard” off the coast of the island. The landing portion felt a bit less invasive to me than when we went to the Adélie colony. I had been a little cold during the morning cruise, so I added an extra later for the afternoon. This ended up being a bit of a mistake, as I was overheating while walking around. But then I knew better for the next time.

Cuverville Island

Tonight was the camping night, for those (not us) who opted for that additional excursion. Transfer to the island in Leith Cove for camping began after dinner, around 10pm. There were 60 people camping, and many more on the waitlist. We heard from multiple guides that our expedition passengers signed up for more things than the typical tour group. This seemed to be because we had a younger group than normal; and that in turn was likely because there was a batch of 20+ Remote Year participants on the expedition.

Another random musing… The west side of the peninsula has a noticeably different landscape than the Weddell Sea side. There is more snow, mountains, and glaciers on the west side, while the east side is rockier. I like the general landscape better on the west side, but in the sea I prefer the majestic tabular icebergs of the Weddell Sea more.


My favorite pictures from the trip can be found here.

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