Antarctica Diary – Friday, December 1, 2023

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Polar Plunge Day!!!

8:00 a.m. – A day to “sleep in”.  This is definitely not a lay in bed until mid-morning and rest easy cruise.  This is a late day and we are still moving by 8 a.m.

8:45 a.m. – Breakfast at the Grill, you guessed it, an omelet.  

9:15 a.m. – Today’s first stop is at Ciera Cove where we will enjoy a zodiac cruise.  Lots of active Chinstrap penguins swimming and climbing all over the rocks.  Acres and acres of ice to cruise through but it is breathtaking.  There’s a zodiac that broke down and ours comes to the rescue so we can tow it back to the ship.

Chinstrap penguins

11:00 a.m. – The Polar Plunge has begun so we head up to the 5th deck to watch the action.  I wavered on whether to do the plunge or not but ultimately decided that I would do it!  We will be in the last group to jump.

The jump takes place from the mudroom on deck 3 and while you wait to jump, there is a bar set up down there.   You can grab a shot or two of your favorite liquid encouragement as you wait in line.

Waiting in the mudroom, it’s pretty chilly as the door to the outside is open and the air temperature is in the low 30’s.  We are waiting our turn and grab a couple of shots before we make our way to the door.

It was a blast just waiting in line for our turn.  The cruise director is down there getting guests ready for the jump as well as passing out towels.  Music is blaring, everyone is cheering each other on and high fiving them once they return.

Oded and I needed the same size harness so we were not able to jump together.  (The harness has a rope attached to it that a crew member pulls on to bring you over to the ladder). This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as we could now watch each other jump / video them.  It was awesome to see him do it but with each passing second I am trying to keep talking to myself about how cool this is so I don’t chicken out.  Oded gets out of the water and out of the harness so it is officially my turn now.

I decided to pick the side of the zodiac that was closest to the ladder so I wouldn’t have to swim as far.  I had this grand plan that I was going to stand on the zodiac and wave to the crowd, then once I jump into the water and surface, I would flex and show how awesome I am.  Yeah, that didn’t exactly happen.  Remember when I said I had to talk to myself to make sure I don’t chicken out?  Well, I am simply talking to myself and forget to wave to the crowd.  Duh.  Now, I am ready to go so I decide to go cannonball!  I was expected to be freezing in the water, but in that moment, I was not that cold.  I opened my eyes and it was much darker than I expected (most of the water on this trip is super clear) and I saw very little light as the surface seemed very far away.  Maybe I am wrong but I thought that objects are more buoyant in saltwater and that fat floats. Therefore, I was surprised as to how deep I went down.  Anyways, I swam back to the surface and once my head surfaced, the cold really hit me.  I instantly forgot to flex for the crowd but rather thought to myself “how fast can I get the heck out of this water”.  I got to the ladder but my feet were numb so I couldn’t find the bottom rung.  I eventually pulled myself up and got back on the zodiac.  My hair and goatee have ice on them!  I try to whoop it up and yell but nothing comes out of my mouth.  I could breathe so it didn’t really take my breath away but I simply couldn’t talk.  It took a few minutes for me to be able to talk again!  I get out of the harness, up the stairs and grab a warm towel.  Oded and I are laughing, giving everyone a high-five and just celebrating.  What an incredible experience.  One of my most favorite moments!!!


Oded and I after the plunge!


We thought about jumping a 2nd time as we were two of the last people to jump.  But some of the crew was coming down for their turn to jump.  We didn’t want to delay them so we changed our minds and decided to go up to deck #6 to the outdoor hot tub.  Apparently, lots of people had the same idea as it was pretty crowded.  We did get in though and my feet were so cold that I thought they were going to shatter when they hit that hot water.  It was an enjoyable experience sitting outside in the hot tub in that scenic environment.  Shortly after the crew jumps, the Silver Endeavour starts sailing again so the wind picks up plus the snow starts falling. It is really cold now and our heads are the only thing out of the water but are getting really chilly.  It’s time to get out, dry off and grab some hot cocoa.

1:00 p.m. – I go back to my room to get changed and ready for lunch.  I head to The Grill for lunch and found a Greek Gyro.  But once I finish that I thought that I wanted to try a hot dog today.  So, guess what, I order one with onion rings too.  Hey, I used calories on that jump!

2:00 p.m. – Today’s briefing is again moved up earlier due to our anticipated arrival at our next stop.  I always enjoy the briefings so that I can learn about where we are going next.

3:00 p.m. – I grab some more hot cocoa and sit on the balcony in our suite.  I catch up on some reading and notes as well as some relaxing.  We arrive at our next destination, Spert Island, and I watch the crew lower zodiacs into the water.

4:00 p.m. – This stop will be a zodiac cruise and no landing.  They call this area “Iceberg Graveyard” as it’s an area that icebergs float to and then get stuck on various rocks and such.  They stick around and begin to melt as the temps rise through summer.  The bergs are in all shapes and sizes so it’s a pretty cool area.  


Cool shaped icebergs


The water is perhaps the roughest that we have experienced when not protected by the cliffs and other rock formations.  It’s hard to take pictures and sit on the sides of the zodiac.  It is still a very neat place with all of the channels, rock formations and icebergs.


Cool rock formations too.


5:30 p.m. – We get back on the ship and change out of our layers of warm clothing.

6:00 p.m. – Silversea has arranged for a behind the scenes tour for the travel advisors on board our cruise.  We start with the galley, the crew lounge, the laundry area, the bridge and various suites.  


[pic of me in the bridge]

Your new captain!


8:00 p.m. – Dinner tonight is in the specialty restaurant, Il Terrazino.  There is no charge for this specialty restaurant but it is a small venue so you have to make reservations.  Marge and Ron were nice enough to include Oded and myself in their reservation tonight.  I thought the meal was fantastic and we had lots of laughs as well as good conversation.


Yummy Italian Dinner


9:45 p.m. – Tonight’s entertainment is 80’s movie soundtrack Name That Tune.  I actually don’t join anyone’s team to attempt to win prizes, but rather just listen and guess by myself.    I love 80’s music and movies so this was a pretty fun night.

11:00 p.m. – After the entertainment ends, I stay around to chat about travel with some fellow advisors.

12:00 midnight – Good night now!!

Todd LangenekAntarctica Diary – Friday, December 1, 2023

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