December 27th, 2006 – by: capitals33
On the very last day of Antarctica we came to this spot that actually had a little bit of a beach. Most of the spots have been carved up so much by glacier movements that the land just falls right into the water with jagged edged cliff walls. This spot had a pebble beach with a very slow grade into the water. I was the bell of the ball wearing my oh so fashionable Russian hip waders when the thought occurred to me that.. well.. that I was wearing Russian hip waders. So I started trudging through hip deep artic water. I had on blue jeans under the waders and so I wasn't cold at all. I found a rock about 25 yards off the shore and sat down on it to watch all the penguins playing in the water. I was taking photos of penguins when I heard the shotgun blast of an iceberg cracking in two pieces.
I was lucky enough to have my camera in hand, and the iceberg was directly in front of me. I got about 4 pictures of it dissolving and causing all kinds of commotion. That was cool. After about an hour of photos I put the camera up and just watched the penguins play, which I think anybody could do for hours at a time. It was a beautiful day. Warm enough that I had taken my parka off and was still comfortable. Beautiful scenery that you just can't get anywhere else and a lot of peace and quiet off on my own. Well, when you remain very still the penguins will come up to you on land. You can't look directly at them, and you can't twitch a single muscle, and if you can pull that off for long enough one of them will waddle up to you and check you out. In the water, perched on my rock with my legs laid out in front of me in the water a few penguins would swim up to me to check me out and then dart off. They're pretty fast swimmers too. Well, one of them came up on my left side and before I knew it, he jumped (porpoised) over my legs not 2 inches in front me. The little guy actually jumped over me to get a better look at me I suppose. Cool as can be. That was my favorite day.
The polar plunge was cool. I decided on the spur of the moment to jump into freezing water wearing a pair of shorts. We had these Austrian chefs that were phenomenal and one day they prepared a full BBQ picnic out on the bow of the boat. Incredible. Bum sliding down a massive hill through the snow. A single bay with 13 to 15 glaciers and pancake ice. Seals, Whales. Some of the clearest sky I've ever seen and nothing more beautiful. The list goes on and on.
Some of the best pictures I've ever taken came from this wonderful adventure.