After a long night of dancing and a short night of sleep we heave anchor around 06:00 and start sailing South. Today we will reach our southernmost point, and it is the ice that will decide where that will be. For breakfast we have a humpback whale swimming around the ship, repeatedly flapping it´s flippers on the water. As we come close to the Berthelot Islands the ice gets denser, adding a Plan B to our initial plan.
We decide to try and see if we can reach the shore. There is just enough open water to lower the two zodiacs – and yes, we manage to get to the landing site. It is very calm on the island – we are surrounded by an ice filled ocean, and glaciers in the background. On the island itself we meet our first Adélie penguins - We can´t walk very far, but it doe not matter much. It is not only our southernmost day, it is also our warmest day. We all sit on the rocks and watch the wildlife and nature around us, until it is time to find our way back to the ship.
After our landing we move a little closer to Trooz glacier, and a little more into the dense ice. At a safe distance of 0.7 nm from the glacier – it is off with the engine and out with the lunch. The weather is so nice that we have lunch on deck – a delicious combination of leftovers from our Braai last night, fresh bread from the morning and newly created soup.
Most of us are up in the mast. Like an apple tree full of ripe apples someone jokes. Every mast has at least one person. After lunch we slowly start moving north again. When we come to more open waters – and an impressive collection of large icebergs – we lower our three small boats and set out cruising between the icebergs. There are all different kinds of blue and all kinds of forms – arches and caves and fortresses. Many of the icebergs must have come from ice sheets – they are so large and still floating in the same upright position as in which they broke of the glacier. They look like glacier fronts themselves.
As we were taking the boats back in, the weather started to change. The more we come to the North, the more intense the wind gets. Lemaire channel is not foggy this time – the peaks and mountains are clearly visible, on both sides – but it is not easy to look with this wind. The strongest gusts we witness on the meter is 58 knots. It slows us down by over 3 knots. But we make it through the famous channel, and we made it to Port Lockroy. We drop anchor close to the glacier and find some shelter for the night under her walls of ice.
Wat een prachtige foto.
margriet. | 31-01-2018 09:17 uur