Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Antarctica is COOL!!!

Brrrrrrrrrrrr....it sure is cold in Antarctica!!!!!! Well, I guess I should start off telling you how we got here. Keegan and I traveled by a small cruise ship. It was awesome! I'm glad I got this picture (see below) of us sailing through Antarctic pack-ice.

Once we got there, I saw some elephant seals out of the corner of my eye while still on the ship, which was about to sail into harbor. So as soon as we got onto shore, I quickly walked toward the elephant seals that I had seen. I saw this cute baby seal (see below), snapped a picture, turned around, and...

...found myself face to face with a massive daddy elephant seal!! He was staring at me, like "what do you think you are doing to my son?!" That made me slowly back away, and then I turned and ran to search for some penguins.

I spotted some penguin tracks, and it appeared that they were waddling. I immediately started following the tracks and then I looked ahead to see if I could spot the penguins. There they were! They were emperor penguins, and I was amazed because they were enormous. Some of the bigger ones were bigger than me! Here is the quick photo I took. (And note the baby poking his head out from under its parent.)

And then I thought I needed some exercise, so I ran at top speed toward a place where you could ice dive (the people on the ship told me where there was ice diving). On my way (it was a pretty long distance), a snowmobile came with my skis and boots. So I put them on, grabbed onto a rope behind the snowmobile, and was pulled up pretty steep glacier. I snatched my poles from the back of the snowmobile, let go of the rope, and skied down the glacier to the site where the ice diving was going on. Keegan was there waiting for me.

Gearing up was very hard because the suit was so tight, and it was so C-C-C-COLD out! Getting under the water and looking around was just like entering another world almost. The first thing I noticed was when I breathed out, the bubbles went up and stuck to the underside of the ice and looked like silvery mirrors. I just wandered around dumb-stricken for a while at how amazing it was diving in Antarctica. At the end of the dive with a little air still in my tank, they said that I could take off my weight belt (if you don't wear a weight belt, you float up). So I took it off and walked upside-down on the underside of the ice.

It was so fun in Antarctica! I wish I could come here again! Nicholas


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  2. Nicolas that sounds amazing! Tell me if you saw any fish or sharks while you were diving?

  3. Nicholas, sweetheart, this was an amazing post. So action-packed and poetic. I don't know how you do it but you make me feel like I'm there. And I laugh and I worry for you, too! :) It takes my breath away to think of swimming under ice, let alone walking upside down on the ice UNDER water. But I have to say, you've seen a different side of Antarctica, haven't you? And the little silvery mirrors won't leave my head, that's for sure. Beautiful. I love how you get yourself into situations that demand your coordinated/acrobatic self to twitch and turn and dart away. Every single time. This time, well, it seemed MOST important. Do the males protect their babies? So interesting! I was just talking about Mamas with Logan! Finally, I liked how you showed us how you got to the water: being tugged by a snow mobile up the glacier and then being slung down the other side. Very interesting. Remind me to tell you about a very fun race in Alaska with men in speed suits and snow mobiles and long skis. :) Carolyn

  4. Th-that s-seal is s-scary!!! That baby penguin poking it's head out from under it's mom's fur is so cute!