Cuverville Island

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place

  • Day17

    Antarktischer Sommer auf Cuverville Isla

    November 30, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    Nach dem Abstecher zu den Süd-Shatlandinseln sind wir wieder in der Antarktis angekommen. Heute Morgen (Sonnenaufgang um 2:50, hell war es ab 1:30) sind wir durch den Errera-Kanal gefahren.
    Sonne, Pinguine, Eisschollen, Gletscher: Antarktis pur. Wetter ist wieder super, wir genießen die Sonne bei 2 Grad.Read more

    Cordula Doßler

    Cool. Im wahrsten Sinne.

  • Day8

    Along the Danco Coast

    November 17, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

    The remainder of the afternoon is a very relaxed affair, with our group having disembarked in the morning. After a fairly light lunch, and still nursing a sore knee from this morning’s involuntary gymnastics, I figure a short nap is on the cards. I’ve been waking up so early this trip - not helped much by the fact that we are now firmly in the land of the midnight sun. The cabin has blackout curtains, so this would not normally be a problem, but I find I’m waking up throughout the night and surrendering to curiosity to see what’s sailing past my window, convinced that a whale or something may be performing for my viewing pleasure. Of course, no such thing has happened, but by that point I’m wide awake.

    After a brief snooze, I get up and hit the sauna. This is a real treat on this boat, especially with the panoramic windows. The sensation of sitting there in the blistering heat while surveying the frozen landscape is something truly special. I could get very used to this.

    At around 17:30, and with everyone safely back on board, the ship pulls out of Orne Harbour and begins a leisurely drift to the south, passing some monumental icebergs the size of basketball courts (and that’s just the 10% that sits above the waterline). Fog is closing in rapidly, and soon we have slowed to a crawl. Given the size of the icebergs we’ve just passed, I presume they need to be cautious. However, after just 20 minutes of such progress, the fog dissipates again, revealing the ice-clad mountains lining the Danco Coast.

    We haven’t been told exactly where we are heading - that’s quite deliberate at this stage, because weather and sea conditions can turn in a heartbeat - but our southerly bearing would put us in reach of Neko Harbour, which we have been told is probably the most southerly site we could visit on this trip. Some guests have been disappointed to learn that we will not be crossing the Antarctic Circle on this voyage, but they’ve clearly not done their research - this is not physically possible at this time of year, as the sea is completely frozen over south of 65.5°, and we can’t sail across solid ice.

    Our evening orientation meeting reveals that we are indeed heading towards Neko Harbour, specifically to Kerr Point, as this is the site where guests with deep pockets and unhinged minds can camp out for the night on the ice. Given that I have a lovely warm cabin that cost an arm and a leg to begin with, the idea of spending the better part of €600 to willingly leave that sanctuary in order to go spend an uncomfortable night in a frozen, draughty tent is quite beyond me. Although I guess such a feat comes with massive bragging rights.

    Eventually we make it to Neko Harbour at around 21:00, and the zodiac boats waste no time in ferrying the tents and supplies to shore. On arrival, the camping site is shrouded in mist, but as it gradually clears, I can see the bottom of a giant snowy slope, which will be their home for the evening. The landscape is quite eerie - the water is dead flat, with the only ripples being ones we’re making ourselves with the boats. Several penguin rookeries along the coast are providing a cackling symphony of sound, which is occasionally interspersed by an ominous cracking from the active glacier. The whole surface of the inlet is strewn with ice, ranging from small chunks that crepitate as the ship passes by them, through to significant icebergs, which make loud bangs as they come in contact with the ship’s reinforced hull.

    I had presumed that we were going to drop anchor here and spend the night, but at around 23:00 or so, I notice that we’re starting to make our way out of the channel again. I head to the front of the ship to watch as we glide through the deep ebony waters, moving large chunks of ice out of our path with the bow tunnel thrusters. Beneath the glassy surface, the colossal outlines of the icebergs make for an unsettling sight - I’m starting to understand the whole thalassophobia thing now. At the front of the ship, I meet one of the catering crew who tells me that we’re moving out of the channel so that the campers get a proper isolated Antarctic overnight experience. Perhaps that justifies the price, then, given that moving a 21,000-tonne boat solely for that purpose must cost a lot in fuel.

    It’s still light as midnight approaches and as we continue to drift out towards the mouth of the long inlet, but having finally had my fill of photographing icebergs for the time being, I make my way to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
    Read more

  • Day11

    Cuverville Island

    November 20, 2019 in Antarctica ⋅ ☁️ -3 °C

    During the night, the ship has moved north, returning to the vicinity of Neko Harbour. Last time we were here, high winds and poor sea conditions drove us south - for which we were ultimately very thankful, given the opportunities to which that turn of events led. But now we are reattempting ‘Plan A’ from two days ago, which involves landing on the small island of Cuverville. This is a site of special interest for bird life, being home to a colony of around 5,000 gentoo penguins and nesting Antarctic skuas. Whales have been known to frequent the bay around the landing area, and Weddell seals are also often to be found basking on the beaches.

    The wind is still blowing strongly, but clearly not strongly enough to prevent the zodiacs from beginning their transfer services across to the beach. There’s quite a swell though, so boarding is a less than elegant affair and as I take my seat, I grab onto the straps and brace myself for a bumpy ride.

    The transfer from ship to shore takes about 3 minutes, during which time we pass all manner of floating ice shapes on the water. These must pose a serious navigation hazard for the zodiac pilots, but they manage their job very well. It occurs to me that I have no idea who is behind the wheel - the pilots are always decked out in oilskins, balaclavas and ski masks. It could be anyone under there.

    We seem to be sailing into a penguin sanctuary. They’re everywhere: in the water, on the ledges, and all over the snowy shore. Disembarkation is tricky, as we have to make it off the edge of the boat and onto some rough steps that have been hewn into the ice - my own ski visor means that I cannot look directly down at my feet, so I’m praying I’m stepping on something solid. Once ashore, we collect our walking poles and set off across the crisp and crunchy snow, remembering that crossing penguins have priority, and to give them the requisite amount of space.

    It’s bitterly cold, the snow is sinking slightly under my boots and my visor has fogged up, but it’s nevertheless a very enjoyable experience. The penguins are naturally comical: noisy and boisterous, they slip and slide around on the snow, chasing after each other and squabbling, whilst simultaneously giving an air of supreme indifference to our presence. They seem wonderfully maladroit on land - something to which I certainly relate - and it makes me even more astonished that they seem capable of scaling such unforgiving terrain without falling to their deaths. It’s a real treat to be this close to them. As I turn around to head up over the ridge, one little fellow walks right in front of my path and flops to the floor. I can’t go round it without straying beyond the cordoned area marked for us by the expedition team, so I have to wait for it to move instead. We’re on their turf now, and they call the shots.

    The bay is relatively sheltered from the gale, which is a mercy because I can’t use my camera while wearing my gloves, so I have the opportunity to take them off without my fingers freezing. Up on the ridge though, it’s a very different matter, and the biting wind means I don’t stick around for long. It’s incredible how these little penguins don’t freeze solid. But not only do they cope, they’re clearly thriving in this environment.

    Returning to the boat launch area for our return to the ship, we’re entertained by a solitary penguin working its way down a steep snowy bank towards the water - it keeps taking a few steps, then reappraising the situation and going back a little, looking for an easier route. Eventually it makes it to the overhang, but misjudges the landing into the water and bounces off the rocks below. It swims off seemingly unscathed - I can only presume they’re made of resilient stuff!

    Back on board, it’s time to divest myself of my polar gear and head up to lunch. It must be at least two hours since our last force feeding! This afternoon, there is talk of scenic boat cruising, but as with every day down here, we’ll just have to wait and see what the conditions allow.
    Read more

  • Day180

    Antarktis - Brown Base

    March 1, 2017 in Antarctica ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Der zweite Landgang an diesem Tag führte uns dann nach Brown Base. Ein paar von den Pinguinen hatten wohl am Vortag ein bisschen zu tief ins Glas geschaut...
    Auch an diesem Abend gab es wieder einen tollen Sonnenuntergang.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Cuverville, Isla, Cuverville Island, isla