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16 December 2012 / leggypeggy

Antarctica twice in the same day—Neko Harbour

Neko Harbour

Trekking up from Neko Harbour with the glacier in the background

Landings and Zodiac cruises are a bit of a gamble on any Antarctic expedition. The weather has to be good, the ice has to stay at bay and the sea has to be calm enough so everything can be done safely.

Our whole trip was blessed with excellent weather so our second landing on Antarctica—yes we had two stops on the mainland in one day—happened without a hitch.

Neko Harbour

Squabbling penguins at Neko Harbour

We set foot off Neko Harbour, discovered by the Belgian explorer, de Gerlache, in the late 1800s.

The harbour is on the eastern shore of Andvord Bay and was named for a Norwegian floating whale factory ship that used the harbour in the early 1900s.

In addition to admiring the many Gentoo penguins on shore, we made a steep climb to overlook a nearby glacier. It supposedly calves (releases icebergs) regularly, but didn’t reward us with any action except for a couple of loud cracks. But the views were spectacular.

Neko Harbour

Cruising through brash ice in the Antarctic

Our biggest reward was the Zodiac cruise through acre upon acre of brash ice. These floating ice fragments are never more than 2 metres across and are ‘shrapnel’ from other forms of ice. (I read that there are heaps of different kinds of ice in the Antarctic, and I doubt that I saw them all—I don’t even know all their names).

Vladimir, our Zodiac captain this afternoon, thoroughly enjoyed steering us through this new-to-us form of ice. It was fascinating to see how the Zodiac edged through without problem, and then see how the ice closed behind us.

Vlad was also very pleased to spot a couple of crabeater seals snoozing on an iceberg. We cruised over and managed to disrupt their peace and get some great pics.

The icy waters seemed even more amazing after I read that about 10 years ago Lynne Cox, an American long-distance swimmer, swam in the harbour for 25 minutes. She trained for years in super-chilled waters. Not my idea of fun but full credit to her.

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11 Comments

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  1. Potsie / Dec 16 2012 1:57 pm

    I get annoyed when awakened from my nap, too

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 16 2012 2:00 pm

      You big baby. I’m going to come hammer on your door during nap time. I bet you’ll answer. 🙂

      Like

  2. Wendy Steibelt / Dec 16 2012 4:20 pm

    Love the pic of you all trekking up from Neko Harbour. Great shot.

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 4:06 am

      Thanks Wendy. I thought the pic gave some sense of the height.

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  3. Martha Eubanks / Dec 17 2012 12:13 am

    HI, Peggy, I’m a friend of David York and I’ve been following your blog since you left Denver and arrived in Peru. Your trip to Antarctica is my highlight of your trip. Your photos are great and your descriptions capture the fun, the adventure, and the history. Your adventure has whetted my appetite for a trip to that part of the world.

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 4:06 am

      Hi Martha, thanks for dropping in. So glad you have followed and enjoyed the blog. The Antarctic was a highlight for us too. I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I hear that trips purchased 9-10 months early are often discounted by 25 per cent. We got a similar discount for booking at the very last minute. Happy to answer questions if I can. 🙂

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  4. adventurousandrea / Dec 17 2012 4:43 am

    Wow, it’s gorgeous!

    Like

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  1. Danco Island—a gentleman comes to call in Antarctica « Where to next?

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