February 26th, 2018
Good morning possums, breakfast will be served in 5 ‘.Adriana had slipped into my room to record the beginning of the day. I knew she would be there but still she surprised me. She recorded me getting out of bed and going for breakfast. I was lucky, Greg was there. I sat with him. He told me how the day before he had been watching us from the bridge.
-I was about to tell the rest that there were whales in the bow, but I did not.
Full of joy as we were, he gifted us the intimacy of that magical moment.
Rebeca, the manager of the station, arrived in Ushuaia accompanied by the tallest laboratory technician I have ever met. His head brushed the roof of the room. They explained to us the scientific programs of the USA and the different stations that they had in Antarctica. I was surprised to find that the station located at the South Pole is on a layer of ice that moves 30 inches a year. So from time to time they have to reposition the South Pole flag so that it is where it should. Once back from the station, 10 of Palmers researchers boarded into the Ushuaia to tell us about their research and adventures. Among them was the youngest woman to winter in the South Pole Marissa Goerke. Her story was captivating. She spoke from the security of knowing the respect and admiration that what she had achieved would have in us. She was right. We spent a frantic afternoon between LSI, strategy map and LSII. Around 6 pm we were entering Paradise Bay to get to Gerlache.
The show started soon after. Less than 15 minutes later the whales began to cross the bow of the ship. They were so close that it seemed unreal. The cries crowded in front of the ship’s screens. Illusion, nerves, surprise. I hid in the bridge to shelter from the cold, and to be able to stay longer. When I left I found Paola :-I was looking for you and I could not find you. This could not be more precious. -We did it.- It’s not that, this is so beautiful that it hurts.