This was our first zodiac cruise. A zodiac cruise is where we go around in the rubber-boat for a few hours and explore the area and the sights.
Cierva Cove is a deep inlet on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, surrounded by rugged mountains and dramatic glaciers. The bay has a parade of icebergs, some having calved off the local glaciers, and others blown in by the prevailing westerly winds. There is an Argentinean base at the entrance, Primavera, which is still used occasionally. This site is known for its collection of stunning icebergs and abundance of leopard seals.
We missed our group when boarding the zodiac, so we went with a different group and that turned out to be a bad zodiac cruise. Our zodiac cruise driver wanted to just go around as fast as he could and see everything for a few seconds, instead of just exploring a given area at leisure. Our experience was ruined, not only because our zodiac driver was simply zipping through the icebergs (whereas the other zodiacs stopped closer to many of the huge glaciers and icebergs), but also because of inconsiderate fellow passengers on the zodiac. We were really frustrated during the couple hours time on the zodiac. Although we got some good pictures, we spent most of the time holding on to the zodiac as it was cruising by instead of enjoying the amazing scenery at leisure.
Though we didn’t linger too long to see the seals, we did see a few and the ones with scars are a true testament to their survival in these dangerous waters. The experience for us was surreal, as we slowly cruised through tons of ice sheets carpeting the ocean.
A short recess after Cierva Cove zodiac cruise, we explored the Spert Island. This time around, we made sure we were on time, and joined our group. Ours was the first zodiac on the water. We were taken to a place on earth that is so different from what one would typically expect from Antarctica. We passed narrow passages lined by tall rocks, saw hole in the rock formations and huge icebergs that were bumping in the ocean water. There were a few hole in the rock formations where we wanted to cruise inside, but the high surge in the water levels made it a dangerous venture. However, we did still have a wonderful time. So glad at least the day ended with a positive note.