Thursday, 17 January 2013

Furthest South

After picking up the happy campers from Petermann Island, MV Fram proceeded to Yalour Islands. This group of low lying islands is not only a home to 5000 pairs of Adelie penguins but is also known from its dense, but low, vegetation. Antarctic hair-grass, cushion moss and few crustose lichens bring many different colors to the rock surfaces and demonstrate that Antarctica is not only black and white. It was also our furthest south destination - 65°14’S.

During lunch MV Fram sailed one more time through Lemaire Channel. 
This time in northerly direction bound for Port Lockroy and former British Antarctic Survey Base “B”, situated on Goudier Island. The base was built in 1944 also as a part of “Operation Tabarin” and after closing down in 1962, the buildings slowly started to fall apart. In mid 1990s British Antarctic Heritage Trust took over the site and in 1996 renovated the buildings. Today it is small museum where visitors can learn how the research personnel lived in Antarctica in 1950s and 1960’s. It is also post office and souvenir shop - the biggest shopping mall in Antarctica, as some people are saying. There was time to send some postcards home and buy few souvenirs, knowing that majority of the profit would go to restore other old British Bases in Antarctic Peninsula area.

At 6 pm we all were back on board and Fram started its way north through Neumayer Channel. Sadly, our journey is slowly coming to an end. Next stop – Ushuaia and … Drake Passage is ahead of us.