After boarding the ship again early that morning from sleeping out Al Fresco, we all went and had a much welcomed warm shower, hot cup of coffee and nourishing breakfast. The ship pulled up anchors once again and we set off through the scenic Lemaire Channel which is also known as ‘Kodak Gap’ because it is such a well photographed location, forming the passage between the mainland and Booth Island.
We arrived at Pleneau Island at Port Charcot. We were nearing the end of our journey south into Antarctica before we would have to turn around and head back north again, so even though we were exhausted from the lack of sleep, we knew we should take the opportunity to go ashore once again. Donning the snowshoes, we put ourselves through our paces and embarked on yet another fairly steep slope whilst exploring the surroundings. As usual we were greeted by a group of Gentoo and Adelie penguins.
After returning to the ship and whilst eating lunch, we sailed on to Petermann Island. This was a significant day for us because it marked the most southerly point of our journey. We went ashore and stood united as the first team of breast cancer survivors in the UAE and possibly the world to go to the ends of the earth. This was our second last day. Tomorrow would mark our last day of activities before we would have to head back to civilization. The ship turned around and we sailed through the night back through the Lemaire Channel in a northerly direction, slowly heading back home again.
We rose early the next morning ready to take on the day and all that it had to offer us since this was our last opportunity to go on land. Some team members chose to go kayaking again since our last attempt was cut short. I chose to go ashore with the zodiac again and spend more time with the penguins on D’Hainaut Island in Mikkelsen Harbour on the southern side of Trinity Island. The sightseeing was breathtaking and along the way we were graced with the presence of a Minke whale and her calf. The other part of our group who was on another zodiac had a close encounter with a Leopard seal that kept on swimming underneath and around their boat, sticking it’s head out and looking as though it wanted to jump into the zodiac at any moment. We all saw a large group of Weddell seals languishing on an iceberg and took the opportunity to stop and study them more closely while everybody took full advantage of the photo op.
That afternoon we set sail up through the Gerlache Strait and through the Southern Bransfield Strait. It was a very cold but lovely sunny afternoon and we joined the crew on the top deck with a cup of hot chocolate. While we were there we were visited by a another group of humpback whales. Once they’d decided to move on, I decided to beat a hasty retreat inside, as I was really feeling the cold by that time, which no amount of hot chocolate could even remotely touch.