We were out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but not before long we could see large icebergs floating in the water. Icebergs that should not have been there. This was the Iceberg Graveyard – bits of ice that had broken off the Larson B Ice Shelf in 2002. Somehow, they floated out all the way here, where they will remain until they finally melt away one day.
Standing on the edge, I wasn’t at all worried. Seeing people go before me and coming back relatively unscathed, it was calming knowing that we wouldn’t be completely frozen when we got out. Then, the countdown began – 3… 2… 1… and before I knew it, I had dove into the water – arms out in front of me with my head following closely after. The impact of the water was a little bit of a shock, but suddenly, all the cheering and clapping vanished. It was silent, and all I could hear were the bubbles I had created from jumping in. I opened my eyes and all I could see was a vast darkness below me. Above me, the glow of a cloudy Antarctic day beckoned. At least there wouldn’t be any confusion as to which way to swim, right? I swam back up to the surface, and it was only then that I felt how cold the water was. The whole thing probably took only a few seconds, but the memory of this experience will last me a lifetime.
Sighting of a pod of orcas! There’s just something about the mere mention of orcas that sends everyone flying out to the decks with cameras in hand. Forget jackets (okay, jackets are pretty important in this part of the world) – there is a thrill of seeing them that cannot be explained. The ship even stopped and turned around so that we could get a better view of the whales. They know what the people want to see!