I just happened to wake up at about 4:30 this morning, looked out of our port window, and saw the red ball of the sun popping up over the horizon. I wish I had gone out on the deck for a photo. It was an inspiring sight.
This navigation map from the MS FRAM continues the navigation of our trip.
Andy and Jerry were just hanging out on the deck sometime today. Just looking back at where we were takes my breath away.
We navigated to the Errera Channel which is a scenic, narrow waterway between Rongé Island and the Arctowski Peninsula on the mainland.
- It was discovered by the Belgica expedition and names for Professor Léo Errera (University of Brussels, and a Benefactor of the voyage).
- The shallow waters between Cuverille and Rongé often trap and ground icebergs.
- When the icebergs are trapped, cruise ships can more easily get through the channel.
- Errera is home to Danco and Cuverville Island.
We landed on the shores of Cuverville in the morning and Damoy Point in the afternoon.
- Gentoo Penguins and Skuas are confirmed breeders on the islands.
- In 1990 the minimum breeding population of Gentoo was 1658 pairs between Damoy Point and inner Dorian Bay.
- We were told that Cuverille Island supports one of the largest known Gentoo Penguin colonies. They were not kidding. Gentoo were everywhere.
- Early in the season, snow cover impedes but doesn’t stop penguins accessing their nests and an intricate network of penguin highways is carved into the snow.
These photos of penguin highways were taken from the web and my not actually be from Cuverville or Damoy Point.
Watching the penguins is such wonderful fun. I know we have seen so many before but I don’t think I will ever tire of walking on the snow and watching the penguins. They have the right away and we were suppose to stay at least 5 meters away from them. But sometimes they walked right across our path and we just had to stop. We, of course, had to be careful not to step into the penguin highways so that we didn’t create holes in their path.
Many of the Gentoo were just hanging out by the water.
I am so excited because I got a video of the Gentoo jumping into the water and swimming around. Just watching this video again brings a giant smile to my face.
Morten took a close up of one of the Gentoo swimming.
Dorene was also successful getting a photo of a Gentoo in the water.
These Gentoo are so cute.
We walked up the steep cliffs for spectacular sights. You can tell from this photo of me that it was warmer outside today – no hat. Of course, I had warmed up a bit from climbing up the hills.
The views of the icebergs were such a such a treat.
We could see the icebergs, penguin colony, our PolarCirkel boats, and some of our group on the shore.
Seeing the very young chicks with the parents protecting them was a joy.
The cliffs are also home to Skuas that attack the penguins. So the penguins have to be diligent in protecting there young.
These skuas were nested near the penguins.
We also saw several more abandon penguin eggs. You can see this egg near the Gentoo with her chick, but no penguins are on this egg.
Here is another abandoned egg.
We heard a loud sound and it was one of the icebergs turning over and creating a wake that sent waves all the way to the shore. We were so lucky to have witnessed that event.
Rich, Dawn and I walked along one side of Damoy Point where we saw a part of whale skeleton. There was a Gentoo Penguin close to the shore?
We also took photos of each other sitting on an iceberg near the shore.
I don’t think I will ever tire of being around these penguins.
These juveniles with the adult Gentoos are so sweet.
Heidi and Sondra were sitting and watching the Gentoo. It is something I could have also done for hours.
We walked up to a to a couple of Damoy huts that were used for airline pilots to rest. I don’t think it is used any more but we were able to go in one of the huts which was fully equipped.
This Skua is flying overhead – probably looking for an egg or a chick.
Andy took photos of Rita and Valerie coming out of the blue hut.
You can see the path we climbed up to get to the hut.
Andy also took a photo of Sylvia by the red hut.
I am continually overwhelmed with how privileged I am to be on this excursion.
Morten also took a photo of the snow snowshoers who went out today.
After we walked up passed the huts, my camera froze and nothing I did worked. I freaked out a bit. Later Bill told me to remove the battery and leave it out for a while. My camera is working again. I am so relieved.
Tonight we had a spectacular sunset and it lit up the icebergs and mountain tops.
Did I mention that we had 2 hot tubs on the top deck. Ann, Sylvia, and Dorene are cozy warm with great views all around.
How lucky we were to see the moon over the glaciers.
At 22:00 they served “Rømmegrøt and Spekemat” which are traditional Norwegian food on the deck 7 aft. I tried a bit, but it wasn’t for me.