Neko Harbour, Almirante Brown and BBQ in Antarctica

2nd January 2017

I stayed in the lounge when we got back to Plancius from camping, didn’t think it would be nice to wake Marijke that early, so settled with a cuppa and book from the library until Andrew made his daily wake up call at 7am. “Good morning, good morning, it’s Monday 2nd January and the weather is clear with a slight breeze and the temperature is 3 degrees. Breakfast will be served in the dining room at 7:30 for those who want to join. I hope you all have a good day”. What a brilliant way to get us all up and going, better than an alarm any day!

This morning we landed at Neko Bay, our first landing on the continent of Antarctica, until now we’d been on the peninsular. A good snowshoe climb up the hill was the perfect excuse to sit in the snow and beautiful warm sun, watch penguins and look out over the bay at the glaciers, icebergs and of course Plancius. Also sketched for a while back near the shore and enjoyed a penguin visitor up close although by the time I realized and got my phone out for a photo he’d moved on to visit someone else.

The first polar plunge took place before we headed back for lunch. The doctor was on shore with his bag of tricks and zodiacs idled about 10 metres or so from the shore. I’d say about 20 people took the plunge, most only stayed in about half a minute, but one of the Chinese gents swam out past the zodiac and back. Lots of gasps and arm waving by the plungers and laughter and camera clicking by the onlookers. I was biding my time!

After lunch we had another split landing, half landed at Almirante Brown station first and the others took a long zodiac cruise around the bay. I was in Christophe’s zodiac and was awsestruck at the icebergs, the colours of the compressed ice was fascinating. I’ve seen lots of photos where the ice is a bright turquoise blue but there were also heaps with much deeper blues. They look like there’s lights shining through, and the colours under the water are every bit as gorgeous. The vast knowledge these guys have didn’t cease to amaze me the whole trip, and they are so enthusiastic it’s always entertaining to listen.

Our turn at Almirante Brown station was another chance to climb a hill for gorgeous views and then a snow slide back down. I was a bit boring there, only went part of the way but enjoyed poking around the buildings and old infrastructure.

Dinner tonight was special, a BBQ on the back deck with free drinks and gluhwein. It was also Katie’s birthday but she had to stand out there serving up our meals. The weather was actually freezing cold and windy, not at all like we’ve had before, but more typically Antarctic according to the crew. They keep commenting on how lucky we’ve been with weather and they hope we get to experience ‘proper’ Antarctica before we leave. I wasn’t keen or silly enough and had my BBQ in the dining room with other softies. I keep finding days and events with no photos because of the lost SD card, really disappointed I don’t have any of the keen ones, outside in beanies, gloves and everything else warm they could find, eating their burgers.

The mountaineers had an eventful morning, with the young Australian guy, Adam, from Melbourne having a scary incident. Unfortunately the crevassing proved problematic on the way down with him falling in one which required both Cube and Mal’s assistance to get him out.Poor guy was quite shaken and everyone was really shocked.

Think my big night out camping was taking its toll, dinner and an early night for me.






Filed under Antarctica, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

2 responses to “Neko Harbour, Almirante Brown and BBQ in Antarctica

  1. Awesome blog Julie, so enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing, I felt as I was there traveling with you. Love your sketches, they tell a wounderful story, and the photos. Your humour and enthusiasm is pretty contagious.


    • Awww thanks Andrea. Didn’t realize you were following and happy you’re enjoying them. It was tremendous fun and I can’t tell you how many times I stop to think how very fortunate I am to have experienced so much in my life, my childhood, marriage, kids, work and now this. Even though I do have to keep working to keep travelling it it more than worth it, lol.


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