Antarctica Lemaire Channel–Blocked by Icebergs

The snow was coming down steadily. The thermometer read 0 degrees Celsius and the wild was blowing. The ship traveled slowly–only 5-7 knots. Visibility from the bow of the ship was about 100 meters—enough to see a series of icebergs spaced throughout the Lemaire Channel.

The Lemaire Channel—one of the most scenic channels in Antarctica—is a seven mile stretch of water that at its narrowest point is only half a mile wide. It was discovered in 1873, but not navigated until 1898 by Adrien de Gerlach, a Belgium explorer.

Inside, in the Bridge, Captain Denis Radja was in quiet conversation with his officers. The ship slowed down even more. Will we be able to make it through the channel? Not sure. Hope we do, but it doesn’t seem likely. The ship slowed down even further. It seemed like it’s moving to the right (starboard if you’re a sailor). Yes. We’re definitely turning around. We won’t be going through the Lemaire Channel.

I step into the Bridge and hear the announcement from expedition leader Laurie. We are turning around. There are too many icebergs in the Channel. We are now setting sail for Jougla Point where we will have an evening excursion.

So it goes on an Antarctic cruise. The weather and ocean conditions determine the activities. The good news is that wherever you go is spectacular.

Scenes from Antarctica

Adelie Penguins in Antarctica

January 1, 2018

This video is from a very large Adelie penguin colony at Brown Bluff in Antarctica. More videos to come over the next week.

Yesterday I attended the Thursday protest by the Mothers and the Grandmothers of the disappeared. It was a very moving experience that I will write more on when I return. This is an article from the New York Times about them.