Halfway to Antarctica
Almost halfway from sensational South Georgia to Antarctica, we ran into some rough seas. Fifteen-foot waves encircled the bow and reached the bridge of our National Geographic Explorer. Sustained winds were gusting at forty to sixty knots. We finally pushed through those rough waters and anchored at Sandefjord Bay, between Coronation and Monroe Islands, about 375 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. This was a bonus stop, as usually the weather and sea conditions are not conducive to stops here in November. The wind remained strong (20-40 knots) and cold. On a rough zodiac boat ride around some of the islands, we were able to see mixed colonies of Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo penguins, estimated at over 250,000. Further along, about 150 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, we zodiac-toured around historic Point Wild, Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands, viewing the bust of the Chilean ship Yelcho's Captain Pardo, who rescued Shackleton's men after their long ordeal and failed expedition to Antarctica on the Endurance. Read Buddy's fictional account in Expedition to the Frozen Continent.
Bust of Captain Pardo at Point Wild, Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean
Colonies of penguins in the South Orkney Islands, northeast of Antarctica Peninsula
An Adelie penguin caught in mid-leap from an ice-covered South Orkney Island
Rough seas midway between South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
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