60 deg 52′ 72″ S
66 deg 42 ‘ 65″ W
Log 1175 knots
When I first mentioned to Pat that it was my dream to go to the Antarctic
he asked about the possibility of being locked into ice. I dismissed that
concern saying that that was poor planning. (It should be noted that
following that comment a cruising ship got stuck in ice and had to be rescued).
Well we sailed away from Port Lockroy with our souveniors and the boys all talking about Laura the girl from Twickenham. It was a beautiful calm day. However, it had to be noted that the wind had blown in a lot of ice in our path and Henk observed that all the cruise ships were changing their paths becasue of this. There wasn’t a great deal we could do but plod on and on and on. Soon we were surrouded by ice. Every couple of hours Charlie would have to climb the mast to see which the best path was. At one stage the engine stopped. We all held our breath when Henk came down with the screw driver and climbed back into the hull to work on the engine. He was lowering the idle power of the RPM of the engine because of the weight of the ice surrounding. BIG relief all round.
We were going at about one mile an hour. After about five hours the wind
shifted and the ice spread out just like an accordion. and we were back to
motoring full strength again. until Bammm once again another two mile
expansion of ice. Lots of seals dozing on the floes. Once we got through
that we were welcomed by a whales feeding. Beautiful sight.
We anchored in Melchoir Island and after a terrific barbecue we climbed
the mountain to view the sunset/ sunrise. Stunning colours and views.
Priscilla and Charlie were in the boat when a huge chunk of ice calved off
the cliff. Not in time to get the camera. The following day we went out
whale watching and after about an hour and a half of nothing we decided to stop the engine to see if we could hear anything with the engines off.
Sure enough. Within two minutes we heard a number of blows and could see about seven whales feeding. We slowly approached and it was fantastic.
They were bubble feeding. Blowing and then you would see these huge mouths coming out of the water ever so slowly and gradually they would dive showing their humps and occasionally on bigger dives the tail would wave and slide back in. SOme were in pairs one adult and a calf and one in particular had a much lower grumblier blow than the others I wonder if
that was the only male and the others were mothers and their calves. It
was terrific to watch and listen to, although Laurent laughed at my iphone
out while everyone else had these fancy cameras. think I got a couple of
good videos which I will put up later with all the other photographs.
In the evening after our last anchorage barbecue we got our snow shoes on
to climb the last summit. BTW I’ve been asked how Pat is enjoying it. As
you can imagine he is up for everything,,, well he drew a line at the swim
but so did more than half of the others. in his words the trip has been
‘amazing and so different than any other place in the world.’ not bad for
such a well traveled man.
We are now headed back for the Drake passage. We have had the first few
hours of ice watch with Bergs as high as aircraft carriers (Or three
story buildings) they all have little growlers around them with very hard
ice. I dont know how Charlie manages it but he makes an excellent meal
every night even when we are sailing along. Better than I could ever do
but I guess thats not really the highest accolade he would aspire to .
just as I write this Charlie has cut fresh melon and pineapple for all of
Next We will be going via Cape Horn. WHEEE! 0