We boarded on Monday and immediately there was a storm warning .No ships allowed out of port! At 4 am Henk started the engine and motored out to Beagle Channel. To the sailors reading this I’m sure you know that
delicious moment when the sails are raised and set and fenders taken in
and birds are following you out on a new adventure. I love that time but
unfortunately I had to go down below to have a conversation with God on
the great white telephone.
Drakes passage was horrendous.
With the exception of Charlie, (First mate who, incidentally wears flip flops or to the Americans that’s thongss , throughout the passage.) the Captain and Pat, everyone was sick. Its like being in a tumble dyer with the setting at freezing. I was beginning to wonder if I really liked sailing
at all. High winds of 40+ knots and rolling sea with 20+ ft waves. Maybe
it was a mad idea. … and then we started on ICE watch.
Sailing by these enormous crystal blue ice bergs looking out for growlers,
the beauty and challenge of it is too difficult to explain. We spotted
whales and ten the cutest looking penguins jumping around the ocean.
Priscila brought up her iPod with the coolest music (pink Matini and que
serra serra ) to watch the bergs go by. I’m not so sure how Max and
Doug got us through their watch because Doug was seeing buildings and red lights and everything except growlers!
We stopped at Livngstone Island. Packed with Penguins and Elephant Seals.
I was wearing my very smart Russian Hat some of you have seen and Max… the Italian who has a two gun holster for his cameras and incidentally didn’t take the labels off his foul weather gear until the first day landing had the nerve to ASK ME IF I was going to the opera!
I watched the 600+ lb seals and could identify with the difficulty of getting around as I was in my sleeping bag later that night.
We then raised the anchor and went off to Deception Island. Once again thousands of chin strapped penguins. The Mummy ( or Daddy) comes back from the sea and they bicker and yell at each other and the returning penguin dances around for a bit and then the nesting one reluctantly gets up to let the other sit on the egg.
The landing of the tender on the island was rather rough so when Henk the captain pushed us off, the water soaked him right up to the chest BUT he kept the cigar in his mouth throughout. This is the coolest man you’d ever meet south of the equator!
Last night was probably one of the most memorable I have had. We anchored in the middle of a vast sea of ice . I have the photograph of the anchor nicely resting on top of the ice. The photos will follow as soon as I
can up load them.
Chris brought out his toy the hydrophone. Its a microphone you drop down the side of the boat. We could hear leopard seals calling to each other.
Charlie made beef strogonoff, his mothers recipe, and at the end of that we took out the guitar. There was also a bit of dancing on deck. everyone
was back on form. Incidentally we have a carcass of lamb attached to the
transom of the boat getting salted and ready to eat in a couple of days
Yup it’s been every emotion under the sun so far and I’m lovin it