Wednesday, 2 March 2011

From sunshine to storm

 What a day! We woke up very early this morning as the FRAM headed south through the Lemaire Channel. Because of its scenic beauty this area is also named the “Kodak Channel”. The sky was clear blue and there was hardly any wind. Therefore, the snowy peaks were illuminated by the golden rays of the rising sun and these were beautifully reflected in the water.
It was an amazing experience for many of us. The Fram headed ¬southward through the channel then we turned around, reversed direction and headed back northward through the channel (eriameL) toward our next stop, Port Lockroy.
Our landing began under blue sky at this famous little base which is today a museum, shop and post office. Here we had another opportunity to observe Gentoo penguins. They were being given a hard time by two skuas attacking the chicks and trying to separate one of them from the scared crowd.
During our stay, the wind increased and it was amazing to see how fast the fog and clouds masked the mountains. We all returned to the ship plus we have 2 new passengers. We have been joined for our travels northward by two of the 4 staff that operate Port Lockroy for the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The foul weather did not let up and our planned tour of Wilhelmina Bay was cancelled as we motored through fog and constant rain and snow squalls. At dusk the weather cleared a bit and we encountered several groups of humpback whales and they cruised with us until they lifted their tails and waved good-by as they dived deep into the sea.
Regardless of the weather, this evening, our spirits will brighten as the always popular Fram fashion show gets underway.