“Good morning!” This morning’s 6:30 A.M. wakeup call came a little earlier than planned. Killer whales were sighted on the starboard side, and we bounced out of bed.
Thus began the new day. Guests who did not turn over and return to their sweet dreams got dressed in a hurry. Still bleary-eyed, they staggered up to the bridge or the open decks to see these dolphins. It took a while to get our first views, but there they were, out some distance from the ship. The captain slowly approached them, and this allowed us to get a better view.
These killer whales were identified as pack-ice killer whales, also known as B1s. They specialize in feeding on marine mammals, including seals. The Weddell seal is their preferred species, but they will also feed on other seals and cetaceans. They have a very large eye patch and can measure 8–9 meters and weigh up to 10,000 kilos. This pod was made up of around eight individuals with several young and one male.
No sooner had we almost decided to leave the killer whales to their business than a cry went out from the bridge–yet another Ross seal was spotted on an ice floe. The ship slowly approached the ice. After some initial nervous responses from the seal, it settled down and we were treated to some very close views of this remarkable and rare animal. Off in the distance, we spotted another Ross seal with some crabeater seals.
Once the ship returned to her set route, it was almost time for breakfast. Chatter was excited and animated. What a start to the new day.
Throughout the day, we enjoyed several presentations and films. During the morning, we learned about “Amazing Foods of the Southern Ocean” from Gaby Roldán. After a nice coffee break, we enjoyed a showing of Around the Horn with its marvelous commentary.
Today’s lunch was remarkable. We were greeted at 270º, the ship’s restaurant, by Patrick, who was wearing a Mexican hat. The food cooked by our Mexican chef, Omar, was delicious and much enjoyed by everyone. Dessert was churros with several sauces, including coconut, chocolate, and dulce de leche.
During the afternoon, we were invited on a tour of the engine room and to take a Vinyasa yoga class.
Before recap, we enjoyed a final presentation on “Antarctic Killer Whales.”
After dinner, we enjoyed a film and popcorn.
Throughout the day, we skirted the edge of the ice on our portside and passed hundreds of icebergs. Once again, we were witnesses to a myriad of marvelous icebergs. They never ceased to utterly enthrall us with their sculpted shapes and gigantic size.