Paradise Harbour, Antarctica
64° 54' S 62° 55' W
Dec 12, 2007 01:00
Distance 0km

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Yalour Island

Day Two  (Wednesday, December 12). Morning, Yalour Island. 

 

       Today there are no wet landings, just zodiacing around, looking at ice, mountains, and animals.  Temp, 6 degrees C (42 F).  

       Spent the first part of the morning looking at ice.  Given the amount and scale, you quickly get caught up in it, seeing different shapes and sizes.  As you look at the ice along the shore line and above, you are overwhelmed at how much of it there is and how high it is.  As you look at the shore line, if you are patient, you will see a large piece break off and crumple into the ocean. What a loud bang and a sight to see!  Saw this a few times.

  

       Picked up pieces of ice, tasted it, examined it, and held it, realizing just how old it is.  Looking at the air bubbles or lack thereof is insightful.  Tasting 1000 year old water and frozen ocean water is just one of the experiments I did.

  

       After cruising around the island we came to an Adelie penguin site.  We were not allowed to get out of the boat, likely because they were in an important part of their breeding cycle.  Adelie penguins have a totally black face and are about the same size as the Gentoo (and later Chinstraps), being 30 inches (80 cm) and weigh about 9 pounds, or 4 K).  Also saw a few Weddell seals.

       Great morning!!

 

Photos / videos of "Yalour Island":

Ice and icicles - ice is blue. Pancake ice. Bergy bits. Wind-swept mountain on Yalour Island. Top of mountain on prior photo. Glacier meets water - the wonderful formation ice and nature make.  This iceberg is easily the height of a 10 story building; this is the above the water height, below is four times more (20% above water, 80% below, not 10% 90%, as glaciers have air pockets so lighter than ice cubes in fridge Zodiacing around the island. Black ice, note dimples.  Has almost no air bulges in it.  Comes from the bottom of the glacier, where pressure from ice above (up to 2000 metres of ice) squeezes the air out.  Ice is also likely hundreds or thousands of years old Glacier ice.  Note the air bubbles.  Glacier ice comes from snow which has been packed, so it has lots of air pockets in it.  Black ice, from the bottom of the glacier has the air squeezed out of it from the pressure of up to 4000 metres of ice above it. Like a kid, I will taste anything.  1000 year old water tastes like water. This iceberg has flipped over.  To be classified as an iceberg, the above the water portion must be at least 5 metres tall. Adelie penguins.  Note their entire face is covered with black feathers, unlike Gentoo, which have a white band over the top of their heads. Adelie roost.  The pink colour is guano (do-do).  It is pink from the krill they eat. Three Weddell seals. Close up of a Weddell seal. Four Adelie penguins and one Chinstrap penguin.  Can you figure out why the Chinstrap is called a Chinstrap?