Terra Nova Hike

Wednesday, January 25th

Few areas are as distinct as Terra Nova Bay and the Victoria Land coast. This powerful landscape is home to dramatic mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, massive glaciers and ice tongues. This location is one of the most beautiful in the Antarctic, and is therefor sometimes referred to as ‘The Riviera’. It looks out over ice-free waters (polynya) surrounded by ice from ice tongues, glaciers and pack ice. What better area to go for a hike than there in Terra Nova on a beautifully sunny Antarctic summer day? The captain repositioned the ship a few miles in order to be within easy zodiac range of a suitable landing place.

We got into the zodiacs around noon, passed some icebergs, landed and set off for about a 1hour 45 min hike in the snow and on rocks. We had an absolutely fabulous time walking and taking in the immensity and beauty of this piece of our Earth.

It was the plan to do landings at Inexpressible Island and/or Cape Russell later that same day, but strong katabatic winds prevented any activity at both locations. Katabatic winds: also called downslope or gravity winds, are winds flowing down slopes because of difference in air temperature and density.

Getting to land. Photo courtesy of Peter Wainberg.
Passed some wonderful icebergs.
Start of the hike. Photo courtesy of Peter Wainberg.
We got dive-bombed by a skua, a sign that we were getting too close to its nest. So, as protocol dictated, we retreated until the bird was satisfied and we walked around that area.
Mt Melbourne in the distance.
Rick, Marianne, Stephen and Caroline.
Caroline and Peter.
At the summit of the hike.
Came across these two Adelies on the zodiac ride back.