Some Pics

(uncertain of cordinates as Log book is packed away and in the hold of the plane.   Just accept that we are further north but still pretty damn South! and our log of the trip is at least 1,300 knots.)
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We left the Horn to beautiful scenes of land, Albatross, Skua and the occasional pod of black and white dolphins.   It’s crazy.  All the time I have been saying that its not really possible to capture the beauty of the albatross in a picture because you can’t scale it to perspective and you can’t see the balletic movements. But still we try and try. Do you know that the Albatross mates for life?  If one dies it’s the end of the line.  They hunt for food as far as Beunos Aries while the other sits on the nest.  Henck explained how sometimes the bird may get caught on a fishing line and subsequent scenes of skeletons on the nest as the bird sits in wait for the partner to return.   So sad.

We moored in Peurto Torres, A small settlement with only 16 families in it.  They are navy and army and only stay there for a limited time.  We were looking for directions to walk to the adjacent bay and one young boy offered to take us.  He led us through mud and brambles, up a high hill and down the other side.  I felt at one stage he was working with the ‘Wicked Witch of the woods and going to lead us to her house.  He then proudly showed us the water tank and how it was set up.  The power plant was beside it, all looking very new.  We admired it and nodded “SI Si.  But where is the bay?.”  It took some confusion and translation acting out the sea and sand and then he realized that he had misunderstood the orginal request   Back through brambles, mud, bogs etc etc and then we started over again.  I think with all this walking we should be able to crack walnuts with our thighs soon.  We reached the beach , but too cold to swim!

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No Wifi in Peurto Torres.  I should make a note here that apart from these blogs going out via satellite, no one had WIFI except for a brief moment in the Chilean Base, Vilda where they told us we could use it for free.  Luckily we had brought our phones  .. Well almost everyone.  Max hadn’t and was devastated.  He had broken up with his girlfriend/ex girlfriend and I believe there may have been more to say to each other. .. There was hope of a reconciliation. From there on in he was trying to get WIFI at all the bases but to no avail.
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Now,  remember Cape Horn where we could only get fridge magnets for souveniors?  Max said “Fridge magnet?  What do I want with a fridge magnet? My ex Girlfriend has all the furniture . I don’t have a fridge.’   ‘I would have to buy a $600 fridge for a $2 magnet’. (Reader try to put on an depressed italian accent on this).
When we arrived in Peurto Williams there was WIFI.   Well  VERY weak Wifi. It would show the sign connecting for about ten minutes and then crash.  We were all sitting around frustrated, knowing that by all of us increasing the demand it was lessening the signal.  We would give up in despair and then someone would give a cry that they were in and back we would go to try again.  Max saw that he had recieved an email from his ex girlfriend but the wifi crashed before he could download it.  Once again despair and he would give up until there as a flicker of a signal and the hope to read the e mail returned.   It reminded me of a John Cleese movie ‘Clockwise’, where he is trying to get to a lecture and has numerous obstacles.  At one stage he sits up and says.  “The despair is easy.  I can cope with despair.  It’s the HOPE thats killing me.”   That just about summed up Max that day.   Later he got reading the e mail and she has given him good wishes. ” Now I may get my fridge back but I have no fridge magnet.  I need to return to get the fridge magnet”
That night we had a feast to try to eat and drink anything that was left on the boat.  The guitar came out, Charlie brought out the tambourine and we tried to sing every song that hadn’t been sung.  Everyone either sang a song from their country, recited a poem, or danced a dance…  or all three.  It sounded wonderful ,  or so I thought until Laurent played the video the next day.  One of those magic nights.
I’m just adding a couple of photo’s. Pat particularly wants the photo showing the steepness of the mountain climb we did where the snow shoes were alternately used as poles and then shoes.  There is also the rushing river we waded across but I’ll add that one later.   There are more stories including some on how we managed to get on with each other.DSC_2405 (2)
The other thing of note is that when we returned, we found out that most of the cruise ships had to turn north before Part Lockroy (Which we had manmaged to get to ) because of all the ice being blown in. Also they were unable to land in many places because of the weather.  There were only three sail boats in the Antartic at this time.   ONe was filled with a group of mountain climbers and the captain told Henck that she (Yes SHE!) was going stir crazy because they had been out for three weeks and there had been no climbing due to the heavy wind.  The other boat ran aground and had to have a cruise ship rescue them and then there was ‘Sarah’ in Hencks capable hands.  I can’t praise that man high enough.
BTW there may be an increase in grammaatcial and spelling mistakes as I no longer have Laurent hanging over my shoulder as I write and Dervla doing the final edit.  Thanks to both.


Published by janeoconnor2000

Nurse, Singer/Guitar player. Sailing instructor traveling around any way possible.

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