Tuesday 9 February 2010

Southernmost Point

If you are going to brag about swimming in Antarctica you might as well also brag that you went swimming south of the Antarctic Circle. After all, the temperature is pretty much the same at the north end of our itinerary as the south.
Yes indeed. Hardy souls. We had over thirty people go for a dip at Stonnington Island which is our southernmost point.
Stonnington is the site of two former bases. British Base Y, which was abandoned in 1975 and American West Base which was abandoned in 1948. The buildings are intact with a lot of interesting artifacts. There is a lot of rubble lying about particularly at the garbage dump for the American base. Large machinery, old batteries, animal bones, odds and ends.

In the afternoon we landed at Horseshoe Island which was the site of British Base W (abandoned in 1957). The Base W hut contrasts sharply with the hut we saw yesterday. Here the floors are swept clean, the dishes are stacked and put neatly away. Everything is orderly.
There were lots of bright green veins of malachite (a copper carbonate) all around the rocky landscape. It looked like someone went crazy with florescent green paint.
In the evening we enjoyed a fashion show. Many departments from the ship were involved including the Captain, Hotel Manager, the Chef and the entire Expedition Team.