1:30 PM: Our second landing of the day was at an active Chilean research base, the Presidente Gabriel Gonzalez Videla station. Though the base looks like it’s situated on a tiny island (filled with penguins and guano, no less), it is actually part of the main continent. In the winter, when the high tides recede, you can see that it’s connected to the mainland. Though we didn’t converse with the researchers much, we did pillage the gift shop and get our passports stamped.
3:00 PM: Not long after, we had our third landing of the day at Neko Harbor. The weather was pretty much perfect, and the main attraction at this stop was a hike up to the top of the mountain where you were rewarded with a sweeping view of the harbour below. Trekking through snow was a great workout – which made me feel better about that second helping of dessert at lunch :) The wind picked up towards the summmit, but the views were well worth the struggle.
6:30 PM: Back on the ship, we had our daily recap with the crew. This time, we learned a bit more about Antarctica territory claims from Adrian and also about seals from Miguel.
Side note: At this point, I noted that it was crazy that we only had two full days left on the trip, and wished that it were longer. Famous last words!
7:30 PM: Dinner time as usual, although there was a special surprise for us today. The cruise staff came out to sing happy birthday to my dad, with a guitar accompanist and all! They also baked a special strawberry mousse cake to celebrate, which was a sweet touch.
10:00 PM: After uploading photos into the group’s photo competition collective, I try to head to bed. We’re passing through the strait again, which means rolling waves – I end up staying awake until 3AM, when the sea starts calming down.