22:21, January 26th

I woke up this morning after semi-consciously dreaming that I was inside a Slurpee machine.  Turns out, my dream was influenced by the slush-thunk-slush-slush sound of the ship’s hull breaking through sea ice.  I immediately ran on deck to check it out.

We’re now in the area of Charcot Island.  The scenery here is exactly what I used to picture when I thought of Antarctica…  Enormous icebergs, as tall as houses and as long as trains, were everywhere.  Stretching between the scattered large bergs was a gently rolling expanse of white, the remains of winter’s pack ice.  Crabeater seals snarled at the ship as we crept along.  Every time we hit a particularly large chunk of ice, the whole ship shuddered.

In recent news:

* We launched a Zodiac this morning in search of a penguin colony, reported to be on the island a few decades ago.  No one has set foot on Charcot since the 1920s.  The birders weren’t able to find a good landing spot, but did catch sight of a couple penguins on the island.

* Yesterday we discovered two new islands.

* Two days ago we made a stop at Rothera, a British Antarctic base.  The base overlooks a bay which must be some kind of iceberg dump–the place is full of them.  In the afternoon, we were challenged to the annual Gould vs. Rothera soccer match, which is played on the base’s air strip.  The match was postponed because a twin-otter plane needed to take off, but we eventually played… and lost.  At night the Rotherans hosted a dance party, complete with live entertainment and a front end loader as the backdrop for the stage.

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