Photos and commentary from Feldman family vacations.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Paulet Island or Little Dudes in Tuxes

From Antarctica
I woke early in the morning and pulled open the shade to our room and gasped at what I saw --- there were icebergs in every direction --- different sizes and shapes, some blue with brown mud stains and others appeared to be pure white. The majestic quality of this great white continent cannot be described in words. It is almost overwhelming to the human eye! Eighty-seven percent of the world's ice is here in Antarctica. This is Alaska's icebergs on steroids. Only in this area are the large Tabular icebergs that have a flat top.

Scientists have been studying this pure landscape for decades. In 1991, they noted an increase in the amount of melting ice which continues today. This is important to all of us because if the rate of melting continues, it could change the sea level. A rising sea level could be a potential threat to all the nations on earth.

Today, Mike and I stepped foot on Paulet Island -- meaning that Mike has now been on all 7 continents! We spent an hour and half walking among the Adelie penguins – thousands of them. They are such funny creatures making a lot of sound as they head to the waters to fish and clean their coats. None seem to enter the water alone – a whole line goes at once. You can tell how uneasy they are as they fear that a sea lion might be under the water to snatch one of them up. I witnessed a mama penguin scolding and pushing her baby penguin (they are covered in soft downy brown fur) because he wanted to go into the water. She was very loudly vocal and pushed him gently back up to the colony. The other funny thing to watch is the nest building with small pebbles carried in their beaks. They steal each other’s pebbles and sometimes a little fight breaks out. None of the penguins seemed to mind our presence although we were very careful not to get too close or touch them or block their passage way going to and from the water.

Just a few minutes ago we entered what is called "Iceberg Alley" -- all I can say is OMG!! These are huge icebergs at least one hundred feet high and as big as three city blocks. One after the other – one more powerful looking than the other. It is a beautiful site and eerie all at the same time.

As Ernest Shackleton said, “We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.”


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