64 deg 46′ 71″S
63 deg 23 ‘ 53″ W
Log 871 knots
It seems that it is still early Spring here rather than the expected hot
Summmer. There has been some tough sailing and blocked in anchorages. A number of the cruise ships were unable to go as far south as they intended.
We had intended to climb a few more peaks but it has been
incredibly windy. On one sail it was 35-40 wind with gusts up to 54
knots. Henk was heard to say Its gone from benign to Lethal!
There are still many beautiful place to see and photograph. There have
been whale spottings and in one cove we saw three whales circling around.
On our way to the British base at Port Lockroy the National Geographic
Explorer came up behind and asked us if we would like to sail in their
wake as they break the ice. Big waves and salutes as they passed us. The
going through ice is torturous. It probably saved us about two hours to
go through that particular half mile of ice. This morning we weren’t so
lucky. With Laurent climbing the mast every now and then and CHarlie at
the bow pointing possible gaps to Henk we had to push our way through
another half mile of ice brought in from the tide. Very quiet while and a
bit tense Like ants pushing against the tide. I’m not sure of the size of
the area but it took about 500 rosaries.
The National Geographic Explorer sure does look fancy and Laura ( from the British base camp )told me how two of them go onto the boats to give a
talk. One talks while the other has a shower. FOur girls and no shower
on the base!! SHe desribed the library with panoramic views HOWEVER when anyone from these boats goes ashore they are very limited to where they goand the length of time they can spend ashore.
The British base at Port Lockroy is charming. The previous year Laurent
said they didnt get ashore so this year we were determined to get there
before the tides washed in too much ice. Intially Henk had been talking
to them the night before and astutely enough Henk had the feeling that we were being pushed back again. He asked Chris our chirpy Brit aboard to use his charm. We all agreed the best offensive would be British
patriotism rather than Charlies Brazialian charm or Massimo’s seductive
persuasion. Lads! you should have heard Chris this morning chatting away with the girl and then apologetically asking if there is any chance in
popping over soon as we are in a bit of a rush. He won her over. Later
on the camp Charlie managed to charm some herbal tea from them.
It is run by the British Antarctic Heritage fund. THey have kept the
place just like it was in 1922 complete with pictures of scantily dressed
girls like Diana Dorseand Ava Gardner. I assume those pictures were done
in the 50s. A cook book with recipes like Seals liver omlete and the
delicacy of seal brain and the importance of cleaning out the clots first.
The four girls running it were a delight. They will be on the camp for
four months. Laura and Adele told me it was working so far although
admittedly its only been three weeks so far.
MOre of the characters on the boat are emerging. Priscilla told us her
harrowing tale of how she survived the tsuanami. SHe could relive each
second of being pulled through the wave. It was absolutely riveting.