After crossing the mesmerizing Lemaire Channel, it was time for our landing at Port Charcot in the northwestern part of Booth Island. Jean-Baptiste Charcot and 18 team members wintered here in 1904 with his ship, Franais, anchored in this bay. He built several structures for both science and accommodation on shore, as well as the cairn still visible at the top of the peak on the Western side of the bay. There is a gentoo colony here and amazing views of beautiful icebergs. This is the real Antarctica!
I wish we had more time to spend here at Port Charcot! The 3 or so hours spent here felt rushed because there was quite a bit to see and the hike up to the cairn which was not supposed to be too difficult really tired me out. I think it was the slipping and falling and the strong winds blowing rain and snow into my face that made it so tiring. I returned to the ship with my pants covered in penguin guano and bruises on my knees and bum but it was well worth it. You have to remember to scrub all your outer gear or else even a tiny bit of penguin poo can stink up the cabin like you are in a tuna canning factory! From Port Charcot, we head north towards Paradise Bay. Stay tuned!
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