Saturday, January 27, 2024

Antarctica 2023-4 - Day 12 - 1/6/2024 - Last of the excursions (Base Brown & Danco Island)

We stayed in Downtown Peninsula for our last day of excursions. The day on ship began with a cool humpback sighting in the morning after breakfast, and ended with an exciting (Type B) orca sighting just before dinner.

Humpback whales

The morning excursion to Brown Station was the farthest south we got - almost 65° in latitude. The flag route at the station included a hike up the hill, where they had set up path to slide down on our backs (this was permitted, as opposed to most locations where we weren’t even allowed to kneel, because this was a designated camping site). Fran being Fran, she ran up the hill and did the slide two more times before we left the site. She built up a reputation for being active, where multiple people (like the expedition doctor) were regularly asking her how many times she had been up and down the hills.

Danco Island

Our last excursion brought us back to Danco Island, in the previously visited Foyn Harbour. Fran and I decided that we liked cruising before the landing, so we stayed back a couple of groups after ours was called to ensure that we did the cruise first. The landing portion included more mini-hiking up snowy hillsides and observing Gentoo nests and highways.

Type B orcas

After the recap all the passengers went out to the bow of the ship to take a group photo. The forecast for the return across the Drake passage is a bit ominous, with 3 meter swells the first day and potentially up to 5 meter swells the second day. Let’s hope that we can outrun the incoming low pressure zone and minimize the bumps. We began our Bonine course before going to bed.


My favorite pictures from the trip can be found here.

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