After a somewhat rough night time crossing of the Bransfield Strait, we woke to beautiful sunny skies on xmas eve for our visit to CuvervilleIsland. Over 5000 pairs of gentoo penguins breeding on one island. It was an amazing sight (and smell!). The aquatic ecology group found lots of algae in the water, while the terrestrial group turned into mountain goats to reach an extreme site with tons of amazing moss and lichen. Many of us also went on a hike to the top of the island to view the icebergs in the bay. Next, we traveled to Paradise Bay - our first landing on the Antarctica continent itself - where we took a zodiak cruise to see calving glaciers, Weddell seals and beautiful icebergs. The education and outreach group brought out the 15 promise banners from El Paso schools for a photo at Almirante Brown station. To end this perfect day, we had an xmas eve BBQ on the deck of the ship - yes that's right - an open air cook out in Antarctica! Santa even cruised byon a zodiak. Who knew he came from the South Pole?!