Antarctica Day 8 – On The Open Sea

Due to us being at sea for the day it was a late breakfast followed by a lecture on the ecology of the penguins we could expect to see on South Georgia in a couple of days time. To provide some comparison other species were also included, such as the a Emperor penguin, which we’d be unlikely to see on this expedition. The main focus was on their breeding patterns such as how long each sex would spend sitting on the egg and the frequency of which they’d swap over.

After a short break there was then another lecture on the history of South Georgia. They discussed how it had been used as a whaling station as recently as the 1970s and how it was used as a staging ground by the Argentinian military when they invaded the Falkland Islands. This was followed by lunch, which for a change was a ham and cheese sandwich followed by ice cream.

By the time we’d finished talking to others in the dining room it was then time for another lecture – this time on glaciers. The main points of this was to say that a glacier is ice that moves and is constantly melting, and that they get their colour from the sunlight shining through it.

Juvenile Wandering Albatross

The final lecture of the day was a photography workshop; I did wonder if I should submit some of my photographs for it but decided I didn’t want to hear how bad they are. Though I thought it may have been useful for seeing where and how to improve. In the end it turned out the workshop session wasn’t that useful but was nice to see what other people were doing.

Before dinner there was one further session on how data loggers and transmitters can be used in bird migration and behaviour analysis. This then moved on to talk about what to expect over the next day. The evening meal consisted of veal in a mushroom sauce with pasta, and something claiming to be an apple crumble. Some of the aussies on the table jokingly told the staff that I wanted a second portion and sure enough a second one was provided! However I decided instead of having it myself I’d share it out amongst the others on the table.

The evening then concluded in the lounge with a story about the expedition leader’s previous encounters with polar bears, a species we would certainly not see due to them being only found in the North. It was however an incredibly amusing story which had everyone laughing.

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