On December 23, we finally set foot on Antarctica at Mawson Station. This is an Australian station and is the oldest
station based on continuous operation. Well over 99 percent of Antarctica is covered by ice or snow year round. We
were the first ship in 18 months to make it to Mawson, but even we had to make the last 39 miles to Mawson by
Below, the graves of three people who have died at Mawson.
According to the sign at Mawson, we were 17920 kilometers from home.
Below, a glacier that flows down to a point approximately one mile from Mawson station.
The station is manned by about 20 people. The staff was friendly.
Below, some of the icebergs we saw on our flight to Mawson.
That evening at dinner we set sail for
the next destination. Our ship glided
by numerous icebergs (below). To
give perspective to these photos,
remember that the tabular icebergs
are usually ten stories tall above the
water. The other 90% of the iceberg
is below water.
It was about 10:30 p.m. and
Jackie had gone to bed when
we heard one of the Russian
crew announce Orcas. We
ran up on top and were
treated to a view of many
Orcas all around us. This
Orca pod remains near
Mawson year round as there
is an area of water that
remains open all year near
Right, an Orca sighting the next day.