This morning my mobile phone, which had remained silent for more than two days let out a ding and I got an SMS message that my ATT roaming was working and that I should enjoy use of full data and phone services covered by my plan. I had not expected this because we were sailing into Admiralty bay on King George Island, Antarctica. Also, because the onboard ship internet service has not been working for most of the day before. King George Island is in the South Shetland Islands off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and is the home for a lot of different bases including the Peruvian Machu Pichu base and the Polish Arctowski Station. The island has year around bases from Chile, Russia, China, South Korea, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. There is also an airport. The Antarctica Cruising Guide says it is the “Most Civilized Place in Antarctica.” It is the site of the Antarctic Marathon that attracts runners from around the world, assuming they can get in. The airstrip is closed half the time for weather.
The weather was overcast, better for seeing the deep blue of the glacial ice, with the sun breaking through near the head of the bay casting shadows open the glaciers. We were greeted by dolphining Penguins and a pod of Humpback Whales on our way out of the bay.
Welcome to Antarctica.