The day started out grey and would remain so, but the ice all around us had such deep colors that the grey weather actually enhanced the magic of this place.
That turned out to be a good advice. When a piece of the glacier calved off, the resulting flood wave did not seem to be that big, but the force behind it cannot be underestimated. So I did run to higher ground and just remained watching, seeing the wave rocking the Bark Europa and the ice chunks in the bay.
Penguins (of course) where around us minding their own business and I got some insight into penguin psychology: A Gentoo was walking towards the shoreline when he suddenly saw me and our guide. He stopped at about 3 meters from us, apparently being puzzled what to do next. The guide told us to step one meter back, because a penguin is very one track minded and cannot factor in an unexpected huge two feeted animal standing in its route to his destination. So we stepped a meter back, which was enough for the penguin to continue.
When we were approaching suddenly we saw another Leopard seal swimming and that one showed a keen interest in us, approaching the zodiac and swimming around and under us. Though the temptation to get underwater shots was high, I had some doubts about the safety of doing that and did not try that.
When we were anchored at night volunteers were always called for anchor watch, to check if the ship remains at its position, but in these places we also had to watch out for floating icebergs that might be on a collision course. This night I had volunteered and we had a busy night keeping the icebergs in check, there were a lot of them. Once we had to wake up the captain to steer us away from an approaching iceberg the size of a few basketball fields. The night was cold but again an experience I will never forget.
This album here has pictures of Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay, Icebergs, Glaciers, Leopard Seals, Gentoo Penguins, the Bark Europa, Antarctic Shags and two scientific stations.
It has 99 pictures.
click here for the album
Some of the seals in this video where shot here: