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South Shetland Islands

Saturday 5 am. We just saw Humbback Whales. Beautiful gigantic creatures.

Saturday 5 am. We just saw Humbback Whales. Beautiful gigantic creatures. We are approaching Edinburg Hill. The captain steers to the rock as close as possible. It is a huge rock of basalt and looks as it is made of enormous big long strings of spaghetti. It is hard to explain so maybe it is best to google it. As we travel further we see big rocks of ice drifting along. On one of the icebergs a seal is resting. The larger pieces of floating ice can be seen on the radar too, they show up as an orange dot on the radar. There are hunderds of little and big orange dots. Really impressive.

One iceberg is floating really close to the ship. You can hear the sound of the iceberg. It is a crackling sound, like an icecube in a glass of whiskey.

We are approaching Half Moon Island, our anchor point which shields us from the wind. On shore there is a station, which we do not visit. It only exist of a big red house. At 7 am dinner time :). Fantastic food again, thanks chefs! Three bells at 8 am, it is captain talk. A new watch is introduced: The anchor watch. Since the seabottom is not reliable, it can happen that the ship is going to drift. Drifting could lead to damage from a big rock or the gets grounded. Everyone can volunteer to sign up and will get a little course "What to do when the ship's instruments are alarming." Five brave volunteens signed up to do these 2 hours watches from 10 am till 6 pm.

Everyone is relaxed. Some are going for a long night of rest and others stay awake to talk an drink a little.

While everybody is asleep the ships is drifting away. It was not possible to get it anchored straight so they lifted the anchor and headed to Fort Point. The anchor was totally covered with green plants. It took Mark and Elskeline 2 hours to cut green plants down of the anchor.

At 6:30 pm we most of us woke up. 7 pm breakfast and at 8:30 we were briefed for the landing at Fort Point. Today the guides agreed that if a Fur Seal tries to 'attack' you, you first step slowly back and walk away. If the seal still keeps following you, than stand still and make yourself "big" by lifting you arms and make a growling sound.

We embarged the zodiacs at 9:30 pm. We saw:

- Pinguins: Macaroni, Chinstrap, Gentoo

- Seals: Weddell and relaxed Fur Seals

- A mountain peak (nunatak) surrounded by melting ice. It is warmer than
the ice so that is the reason that it melts.

At 12 a clock we are back on the ship all smelling like penguins! We
had a great time

Folkert van der Meulen - Schiltmeijer

Written by:
Folkert | Trainee

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Comments

Sounds GREAT!. If there is another trainee on board named PETER DOHR who is not permanently SEASICK, have him do a post too!


william dohr  |  14-02-2015 06:41 uur

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