On our third day in Antarctica we went out in the zodiac boats to cruise around Spert island. The sky was dark but it wasn’t very windy at the point when we left the ship. The colours of the sky and the ice were unbelievably purple and turquoise. I wasn’t very sure about the idea to try to go further than the others and then take a shortcut back to the ship through a passage that ought to be open at this time of the year. But the zodiac guide Ruslan seemed to think it was a good idea. We drove for an hour in another direction than the others. But the ice in the passage turned out to be to thick to cruise through so we had to turn back. The waves grew higher and higher. We drove and drove. We didn’t see the ship anywhere. The walkie-talkie frequency to the ship didn’t work. We were too far off.
Completely soaked by the waves, very cold and and happy that we finally found the ship, we got back hours later than the other zodiacs. But there was hot chocolate waiting for us.
A mandatory component of any Antarctica trip seems to be the Polar Plunge. The waters around here hold -0,8 degrees Celcius. Minus? Yes. The salinity of the water makes it possible for the water temperature to be below zero without freezing to ice. (Photo credit: Mary-Ann)
Surprisingly it was my friends from Brazil and Hongkong who were brave enough to take on the challenge to jump into the water twice, while the Russians and other people from cold countries didn’t. It really wasn’t that pleasant, but very refreshing and I figured it would be the only chance I’d have in a long time to swim in Antarctica. (Photo credit: Jack Young)
(Photo credit: Mary-Ann)
In fact I was wrong on that point. The next day we’d find a volcanic beach on Deception island…