Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Lectures from our some of our onboard expedition team as well as guest lectures filled our days. Sea conditions allowed us all to visit the Bridge and see the inner workings of ship operation including the all-important coffee machine. The Captain not to be outdone by the ‘chop’ or rubber stamps showed us his personal collection and these were put to good use.
Monday, 26 November 2012
It was bit of a surprise when we woke up this morning to grey skies and strong winds. Is this what Antarctica is really like? Were the past few days just a dream or just the Antarctic deceiving us?
Listen to the announcements and take note of what you are told the Expedition team keep on telling us. Karnail our guest from Hurtigruten based in London tested the teams advice by deciding his camera would be in a better position around his neck than tucked away safely in a waterproof bag. As predicted the ‘wet’ ride to Walker bay was wet and Karnail no longer has a working camera, (he was not the only one) but he has fantastic memories and valuable hands on experience of the workings on MV Fram. He won’t do it again!
The groups of Elephant seals resting on the beach were addictive watching – with the grunts, noises – belching, snorting, constant fighting, scratching and shuffling. From the bay we could see the green moss banks at Hannah point – Is this really Antarctica?
A memorable final landing and day with Antarctica showing us a very different face! What will the Drake bring? Lake we hope……watch this space.
Sunday, 25 November 2012
Saturday, 24 November 2012
The sun was gleaming, the wind stayed away and the scenery was fantastic.
Overnight MV Fram sailed south from the South Shetland Islands across Bransfield Strait and into the Gerlache Strait. Lots of us could not contain our excitement and spent the early part of the morning taking in the fantastic scenery. As we were eating breakfast we entered Andvord Bay.
Friday, 23 November 2012
The weather was just perfect for our first landing at the Chinese station – Great Wall. The wintering team of 12 were very welcoming and showed around the impressive base. Earlier in the morning they had cleared a pathway for us, luckily they had a big excavator on hand as there was a lot of snow!
We also had a good introduction to Antarctic wildlife with Weddel seals, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins as well as logistics with a Hercules C130, DH7 Twin Otter taking off from the nearby Chilean airfield at Presidente Eduardo Frei station as well as the Chilean SAR vessel.Tomorrow is another day and we hope it is like this one.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
The previous days travel, lack of sleep all took its toll. The motion of the ocean caused a lot of stomach motions. When only less than 30% of us turned up for breakfast the expedition team delivered Ginger tea and crackers to our rooms. This continued through the day.
Those of us who did make it out on deck were treated to at least 7 Light-mantled Sooty Albatross swooping around the ship in close formation making the most of the winds and the waves.
Monday, 19 November 2012
After our incredible voyage of the past 3 weeks, we have incredible memories – seeing is believing! But now reality looms – back to civilization. Compared with the seas we endured to and from South Georgia the Drake was comfortable, but the odd storm still reminded us the power of Southern Ocean.