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Antarctic weather

This morning we heave anchor to motor just around the corner. Our destination is Dorian Bay, a cove on the northwestern side of of Wiencke Island, just 0.8 km from Damoy Point, the Northern entrance of Port Lokroy. The weather is, if possible, even warmer and brighter then yesterday. We land close to a shiny turquoise and another orange-red hut. The well maintained British refuge hut, built by the British Antarctic Survey in 1975, is open to visitors. It was built here to house staff involved with the planes that used to land on the glacier, as a transit stop on the way or arriving from Rothera station. The much more weathered red hut used to be an Argentine shelter.

From our landing site we start our walk towards Damoy point. Many a gentoo penguin crosses the snow as well. Their highways have to start turning into waterways in the summer heath. Up on the hill we have a splendid view over the bay. From here we walk back down to the hut – were we have a look inside before we start climbing again. We are now walking onto the glacier. On top the view opens to all directions – on one side we see the Europa anchored in Dorian Bay, on the other we look down upon Goudier Island and Port Lokroy, where we were still anchored this morning. It is warm, white and overwhelming.

Back on the ship we heave anchor and start motoring North. We will go towards the Melchior Islands, planning a last Antarctic activity before heading to the Drake again. As we motor the weather changes. First, the blue sky turns into white and grey, then it starts softly snowing, big wet snowflakes fall down on deck. For the first time since we arrived the weather looks a little Antarctic. Have we been so lucky that she changes just as we are about to leave?

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