Trip to Antarctica a voyage of discovery for Aiken Rotary Club member

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Jun. 28—While recalling his visit to Antarctica in February on an expedition cruise, retired Navy Vice Admiral Chuck Munns talked about what it was like to float among the huge icebergs.

"They are 10% bubbles, so when they get in the water and start melting, the bubbles start popping," he told the Rotary Club of Aiken on June 27. "It sounds like you are in a fizzy soda drink of some sort."

Munn also saw seals and whales on the voyage.

In addition, the wildlife he viewed included "a bunch" of the approximately 2 million penguins that live on the isolated continent, Munns said.

"They really weren't bothered by us, by people," he added, "and they didn't bother us much except for their smell. It bothered some of us."

Munns, who is a Rotary Club member, especially enjoyed the features of Antarctica's ice-covered landscape.

"I lose words to describe the scenery," he said. "It was just incredible."

During the trip, Munns and his fellow passengers had plenty of opportunities to learn about the various studies that researchers on the ship were conducting.

"There were probably 20 scientists," Munns said, "and it was fun to interact with them and listen to them discuss what they were doing, how they got funded and what they were trying to prove."

Munns concluded his presentation by offering some advice to the members of his audience before answering questions.

"If you ever get a chance to go (to Antarctica), you should," he said.

Munns described his experience as "really quite an adventure."

The Rotary Club's meeting was held at Newberry Hall.