Christmas Eve. Up at 7 so that we could begin our 2.5 hour zodiac cruise through Cierva Cove. It was snowing – a very white Christmas indeed. We were on a search for sea mammals, specifically whales, but unfortunately we didn't see any. It wasn't that much of a bummer though because the sights were outstanding. The zodiac looked minuscule in comparison to the huge icebergs and glaciers that we were navigating through; it was unreal. We shut off the engine, turned off the radios, and sat in silence, truly taking in the beauty surrounding us and how truly blessed we were to be some of the few to make it all the way down to Antarctica – really moving.
We warmed up back at the ship with some hot chocolate and I decided to surprise mom and dad with a birthday phone call! Pretty cool that I could call dad on his birthday from Antarctica (!!!)
Following lunch we went to Mikkelsen Harbour to observe a penguin colony. I sat down, didn't move for a few minutes (yes, that was very difficult for me) and next thing I knew penguins started waddling towards me! I was videoing one in front of me when everyone whispered: “Sarah turn your head very slowly to the left.” I did so to find a penguin literally five inches from me, staring at my face…and my recording camera. It was absolutely fantastic. We trekked around in the snow for a while, unintentionally collapsing into the snow every few feet, and watched penguins in their natural habitat. It was neat, especially because at this point it was snowing pretty hard.
We got back and decorated cookies for the Christmas tree and headed to a delicious Christmas Eve dinner, where it was announced that the head cook got married and another couple got engaged. Felicitaciones! Happy days.