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Paradise and the Bay of Answers.

After a night of drifting with the ice and glaciers, we continue early in the morning towards Paradise. Conditions here are calm, the water reflecting the mountains and glaciers. No wonder the sealers named this place Paradise. Not everyone will agree with this name though – apart from the towering landscape of glaciers and rocks, the often calm and sheltered conditions, this is also the place of some darker stories. One winter in the early eighties, the crew of the Argentinian Brown station was facing the possibility of not being picked up but having to stay over another winter. This thought brough the doctor to set fire on the
whole place – burning down their accommodation and protection, forcing a pick up so Paradise could be left.

We leave at the end of the morning in a more peaceful way – after some hours with our zodiacs, a leopard seal, lots of brash ice, the glacier occasionally calving – and as the grand final a whale feeding very close to us. Leaving Paradise, we are back in forceful winds. Again it is unsure whether we will manage to land – the air is filled with snow, the wind fresh and summer clearly coming to an end. We are on our way to Neko Harbour – sailing into Andvord Bay, the 'Bay of Answers'. As we sail further into the bay it becomes clear that today, the answer is yes. Yes! We will be able to set foot on land one more time -  on the continent in a place that seems like a conclusion of all we have seen. A climb over the ice up the hill gives us a wide view over the bay, over the glacier, the large icebergs and out into wider waters. Below us is the Europa drifting, and the Gentoos, so vocal and present after our meeting with the calmer Adelies further South. We all take our own time to take it in – our own time before going back to the Europa and leaving Antarctica behind us. For this time.

Written by:
Sarah Gerats | Expedition Leader




Gelu  |  06-03-2023 03:38 uur

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