A wide belt of dense drift ice is stretching out into the Ross Sea from the coast south of the Terra Nova Bay. Much further than indicated by the satellite images. So we spent much more time navigating around the ice than expected. That is actually good news: what would the Ross Sea be without ice?
The time loss does not bother us too much so far, we can afford it after the fast crossing from New Zealand. We take it as it comes, and what comes is an completely unexpected visit to Franklin Island. The island lies totally explosed far out in the Ross Sea, which today is flat and peaceful, allowing us to go ashore without any problems, although it is a long zodiac ride from the ship across the uncharted waters.
Gallery – Franklin Island – February 25th, 2017
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Most of what should have been more than 100,000 Adelie penguins have already left the colony, but a surprisingly large number of them is still at home. Somewhere an Emperor penguin tried to hide amongst them, but he is quickly spotted thanks to his significantly larger size and the attractive colouring.
It is hard to tell what is most impressive: the penguins, the Weddel seals which crowd the shore in large numbers of the stunning coastlines with its rugged cliffs and sea stacks of volcanic rocks. But we don’t have to decide, we just enjoy the whole thing 🙂