Day 2: 19 October 2014
A day at sea today as we head down to South Georgia with a lot of the group taking advantage of the sun, exploring the deck taking pictures of the various sea birds following us. Others have been less lucky and are still yet to find their "sea-legs".
Day 3: 20 October 2014
This morning at 8:20 hrs we crossed the biological boundary of Antarctica, the Antarctic Convergence. At 52°44,1’South and 46°51,3’ W the temperature had dropped significantly to only 2°C and it became damper outside. Parts of the outer decks were frozen and we measured an air-temperature of only 5°C below zero.
The Antarctic Convergence is an undulating line in the Southern Ocean between 50 and 60 degrees south encircling the continent. It is well defined by water temperature differences and can be determined by regular temperature readings. It is sometimes also said to be marked by a belt of fog or mist where warm, more saline currents coming south from the tropics meet cold, denser, less saline currents moving north from Antarctica. These conflicting currents clash, converge, and sink. The mixing waters provide a sympathetic environment for abundant plankton that nourishes huge numbers of sea birds and mammals but this phenomenon is rarely seen. However, few organisms cross this marked boundary, so the convergence defines Antarctica both physically and ecologically.
Day 4: 21 October 2014
Shortly after breakfast this morning (21st October) we caught our first sight of land - South Georgia.
By lunchtime the mountains of South Georgia could be seen clearly, looming over the ship. This gave everybody an excuse to head out onto the deck to test their cold weather gear in preparation for our first landing this afternoon, at Right Whale Bay.
Thanks to an early arrival in South Georgia we were able to get an extra landing in this afternoon at Right Whale Bay on the Northwestern shores of South Georgia. The wide bay with black volcanic sand is home to couple of thousand King penguins along with a number of elephant seals who were jousting along the shore line.