Thursday 15 November 2012
Highlights: Landing at Deception Island, Polar Plunge, Wild zodiac ride, Humpback Whale
Today was the day for the crazy people wanting to do the Polar Plunge aka as running into freezing water! Both Ben and Vera signed up for this crazy activity which was made worst by the incredibly cold and windy weather.
But first we landed on Deception Island hiking up to Neptune’s Window. I had the pleasure of recording Ben and Vera’s 2012 Deception Island Classic run down the hill. Hilarious stuff as Vera first fell and later scared other hikers coming up the hill when she run right pass them. For the record Ben won this race.
Next up on the island was a visit to the abandoned whaling factories and a former British station. I didn’t get time to explore much was i wanted to go back and witness the polar plunge. I could however see this station must have been a big operation in its day.
For the plunge probably 20 people out of the landing party, which should have been about 60 people, stripped down to bathers and bikinis standing on the ice in the freezing winds. From here it was a dash to the sea and the pieces of ice. Vera actually went in twice sharing a block of ice to sit down on with Ben which made for some great photos. Back on the snow covered shore all participants quickly changed but it wasn’t easy in the conditions.
Vera was the first to board the zodiac wanting to get back to the ship ASAP what she didn’t count on was the rough conditions and she forgot her camera which I took :). The zodiac ride was very rough and we all got very wet but not as wet as the drenched Vera in the front. I had to protect her camera bag hugging it tightly since the bag wasn’t water proof. Despite the water being extremely cold I really enjoyed the rough ride!
The bad weather meant our afternoon landing had to be cancelled :(. The ship itself cruised around the Livingston Island bay instead. Some passengers got to see an Elephant Seal which I missed but I did get to see a Humpback Whale which was very cool.
After dinner I watch a BBC documentary on the ill fated Scott Expedition which resulted in the lose of life of the main group. They had some terrible luck. It was weird as they played old film of the expedition mixed with photos and words from the diaries of Scott. It really highlighted how dangerous this region is, I doubt I’d survive many days if stranded.