The day started very early, with a delicious breakfast in order to enjoy a landing at Stonington Island. It is a rocky island lying 1.8 km (1.1 mi) northeast of Neny Island in the eastern part of Marguerite Bay off the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica. It is 0.75 km (0.47 mi) long from north-west to south-east and 0.37 km (0.23 mi) wide, yielding an area of 20 ha. It was formerly connected by a drifted snow slope to Northeast Glacier on the mainland. Stonington Island was chosen as the site for the East Base of the United States Antarctic Service (USAS) Expedition (1939–41). It was named after Stonington, Connecticut, home port of the sloop, Hero, in which Captain, Nathaniel Palmer, sighted the Antarctic continent in 1820.
Trepassey House: The island was also home to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Station E and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition and was the base of operations for many historic Antarctic Peninsula surveying missions in the 1940s. Station E was occupied until 23 February 1975 and the main building was known as Trepassey House, it was cleaned up and repaired in 1992. The huts are protected under the Antarctic Treaty.
When we arrived at the beautiful beach, we were received by a cute group of Adelies that helped us fill up our memory cards and our hearts, a few Weddel Seals were just relaxing enjoying the warm sun of the morning.
Going up the hill, we found Trepassey House, first there were some remains from the past, a boat and two snow cats were buried in the snow. Our eyes couldn’t believe the view: it was a magnificent Glacier calving, giving us new moments of incredible natural show just for US. The sunrise was stunning!
In small Groups, we entered the remains of the Base and were witness to a little part of Antarctic History.
At 10 o`clock the moment of truth arrived, who will be brave enough to enter the cold water to do the famous Polar Plunge; surprisingly more than 50 people decided to try and become part of the amazing group of the “Polar Swimmers”. One Curious Weddell Seal was watching us, swimming close, trying to understand which type of “new seal” we were...
Now it’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful Island and return to the Plancius. After this amazing morning, The Captain sailed us to the southernmost point of the season! 68°13.950`S, we celebrated with a magnificent Buffet at the Dining Room.
During the afternoon, a breathtaking landscape full of icebergs, mountains and sea ice gave us the opportunity to take more and more pictures than we could imagine.
We sailed close to the Rothera Scientific Station, this station is one those that stays open during the wintertime in Antarctica and belongs to the British Antarctic Survey, UK. With a loud Blow Horn, we said goodbye to the Station and continued sailing North. The Gullet has prepared a surprise for us, more sea ice, Icebergs, Crabeater Seals, Leopard Seals and a lonely Adelie made of the Sunset a magic Moment, that nobody wanted to end…
To finish this amazing Day, after the dinner, we could appreciate millions of stars in the most beautiful sky ever seen. Just us, The Plancius, and magnificent icebergs. We all went to sleep trying to find new words to describe this day… Just Perfect!