Sunrise 03:14 | Sunset 22:42
This morning was quite calm and uneventful. I woke up at 5 and continued writing on the daily journal and went for breakfast.
Morning announcement said that today’s weather would only allow us to do landing (not cruising nor kayak). So the expedition team would land at 9 am in the morning to make ways for us (shovelling and make nice landing point) to hike to the top, where most of the chinstrap penguin colonies were located.
I did not care if we didn’t even cruise. I’m happy we’ll able to land at all in the main continent. But as the plan shifted, the timing in the schedule was also shifted. All group were to land in the morning and I was so happy my group was among those to land on the first batch. Winning!
The day before, we were warned that the hike on Orne harbour would be steep and slippery so everyone was encouraged to use pole to hike to the top. The pole would be provided by the expedition team and available inland.
So there I went. Just as I came outside, the wind was gusting, quite drastic compared to just an hour before and I had never experienced such winds before out in the sea, so it was quite frightening to think that either the swell and or the wind could capsize the boat with me on it. But, turned out it was smooth ride and I made it safely to the 7th continent.
I felt lively and joyful and excited at the same time. I grabbed a pair of pole and started to hike up to the viewing point. Despite of clear marking and shovelled foothold made by the expedition team, the hike was challenging. It was steep and thick with ice and snow. To hike perfectly without even getting slipped or sink was impossible. But as I reached the top of the hike, the sight of penguin colony dissolve any tiredness, soreness and everything else. I only remember one thing: Happy!
The view from the top also surreal, a direct view to the bay, another colonies, and more snow. What a beautiful sight to behold. Although, the winds at the top were quite strong, and it kept gusting the moment I arrived till I left the harbour.
After the landing operation, we were called to have a quick photo session on deck-8
This day has been momentous, a day where i stepped my feet on the 7th continent, a day i will forever remember and cherished as one of the magical days in my life. So far, nothing can beat this day or any other day that i spent here in Antarctica. If experience can be bottled and passed on to others, i would gladly pass it on to you all. If there's one special gift you can give to yourself, it's Antarctica. See you on Day-9...