We bumped into Ted, one of our comrade kayakers aboard the Pioneer, literally, in the middle of a forest walk today in Los Glaciares National Park (as you do) – we almost lost sight of our small group that were heading towards the moraine alongside Perito Moreno, as we shared our unbridled enthusiasm for our incredible trip aboard the Polar Pioneer all things Antartica.
A perfect reminder we haven’t talked about two traditions aboard ship, that happen, pretty much without fail, every voyage… The Polar Plunge and the BBQ. In spite of a Russian crew the ship sails out of Sydney effectively, so “throw another XXX on the barb-ie” CAN be heard from the stern decks.
Thankfully the BBQ came first as the thought of jumping into icy cold water, even with a rescue diver in place, was enough to have us both reaching for the goose fat and inhaler.
We came back from our landing at Detaille Island with snow in the air and teeth chatting to smell the universal smell of meat cooking outside #yum. As the zodiacs and kayaks were stowed away, the chefs huddled behind huge drum BBQ’s wrapped up in quilted coats and beanies, turning chicken thighs, pork kebabs and sausages… Time to head to the sauna to thaw out and get our glad rags on.
We needn’t have bothered with any finery as it was cold as and the expedition team had “kindly” provided a dress up box to get us into the swing of our summer BBQ. Arriving a little (fashionably) late I spent the evening impersonating a belly dancing Emirates stewardess.
Gluwein flowed as sounds were pumped out from the back of the bar… Party time! As the snow came down and started to settle, a full scale snowball fight ensued which left s all confused as to who was on who’s side… Time to ‘retire’ to bar for more bevvies and rocking tunes. It will come as little surprise that we were one of the last to leave. Yep, we threw more than caution to the wind and drank our weight in Wyborowa.
The Plunge is normally only attempted on calm preferably sunny days, which is why we thought we had gotten away lightly as the window of opportunity was fading. Drake -1 and unsurprisingly, given our hungover state we thought “what the hell” as the call was made, today would be the day.
Bouyed from our final and truly exhilarating paddle around Paradise Harbour, with it’s millpond conditions, carving glaciers and sightings of minke, we lept into the sub-zero temperature waters….. It was effing cold and all hope if emerging elegantly from the water were completely dashed!