We sailed through the Gerlache Strait and spent the morning anchored off Cuverville Island. Your intrepid explorer and I had an opportunity of a lifetime to don “dry suits” and go out on the water in a two-person kayak and circumnavigate Cuverville Island in the course of two hours. Our small group of kayakers had the opportunity to pass by icebergs, glaciers, penguins and to watch many birds flying over the water and the island. A highlight was the ship’s videographer having a drone outfitted with a video camera and, consequently, we now have video “footage” of our group out on the water kayaking around the island.
Much of this area was explored and charted by the Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache, leader of the 1898-99 Belgica expedition. That expedition ultimately was beset in the ice pack near Peter Island, becoming the first exploring vessel to ever overwinter in the Antarctic.
Like many of these islands, Cuverville Island is home to a wealth of breeding birds, including a large Gentoo Penguin colony, and was heavily used as a flensing area by whalers during the 1920s.
“The kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), also known as the Dominican gull, is a gull which breeds on coasts and islands through much of the southern hemisphere. The nominate L. d. dominicanus is the subspecies found around South America…” — Wikipedia