On the night of November 23rd, the Explorer once again cruised into and remained in fast ice. What a quiet and peaceful night. In the morning, we walked right out on the frozen sea. We were able to walk for miles. There were penguins and crabeater seals who seemed to care less that a huge ship with 140 passengers had joined the neighborhood. Passengers were able to do a true polar plunge, no thermal waters here. I, however, having carefully read the Antarctic Treaty supported the united effort to keep Antarctica beautiful by not appearing in a bathing suit. A group of young people from the Netherlands did the polar plunge with a flair- coming down the gang-plank in pool robes and carrying Mai-Tai's. After a wonderful morning, which included hot chocolate served on the sea, the Explorer backed up and we began our journey to South Georgia. We had hoped to make a close approach at Elephant Island where Shackleton and his men landed after their days at sea. The ice, however, was too thick and our captain felt it was not possible to safely approach. Having just witnessed- during our own voyage- the week- long entrapment of a Russian icebreaker in the Weddell sea, we supported his decision. We headed off to our next destination. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving day at sea, some time to catch up on picture editing and reading, and attended numerous lectures to prepare us for our arrival on the island of South Georgia.
Which way to the polar plunge?