Sunday, 14 November 2010

South of 60 south

Say that 10 times in the row!

Today we continued to sail southwest from South Georgia, on our way to Antarctica. Yesterday we crossed the Antarctic Convergence and today we crossed another significant line, the 60th parallel. We are officially in Antarctica!

Thousands of birds were flying around the Fram to testify this. We spotted the already well known Cape Petrels, some adventurous albatrosses, and a species that we hadn't seen before- the Antarctic Petrel.

By 6 pm we arrived at Elephant Island, where we approached as closely as possible to Point Wild in order to see the Pardo monument. This bronze bust of the pilot Luis Pardo Villalon was placed in Point Wild during the XXIVth Chilean Antarctic Scientific Expedition in 1987-88 to celebrate the rescue of the survivors of Shackleton's Endurance expedition in 1916. The image to the right shows the beach area that was used by Shackleton's men for 4 months while they waited to be rescued. We were struck by how small and area it was, and of course by the absolute wildness of the place.

Tomorrow we continue our adventure in the South Shetland Islands.

The temperature range for today was 0°C to -5°C.