Sunday 6 February 2011


Endless blue sky and bright sun appeared at 3AM and stayed with us throughout this perfect day.

Our morning landing was at Stonington Island. The island sits in an awesome setting of multi-colored rocks and high mountains and is flanked on one side by an immense active glacier front. While we were there this glacier calved on several occasions and the sound and the rolling waves were truly awesome. The term “awesome” is currently overused by the younger generation but the glacial action and the sounds of the glacier breaking apart and the power of the waves breaking as they approached the shore were truly awesome.

Tudor Morgan, Antarctic Heritage Trust, putting up new signboards
While on the Island we visited 2 abandoned but preserved bases. UK Base E and US East Base are within sight of each other. The US base was built and used from 1939 and closed in 1941. The UK base was built in 1945-46 and during that period one of the US base buildings was used to store seal carcasses that were used as dog food. Needless to say this storing of the seals in the bunkhouse did not sit well with Finn Ronne the US base commander when he returned to the site in 1947. Eventually the respective base commanders resolved these “grievances and other issues” and a substantial mapping and sampling program was carried out under the banner of civil cooperation.

Our day continued under clear skies and bright sun. After lunch we reached Horseshoe Island but our intended landing there had to be cancelled as the winds were too strong and the waves were too choppy.

A benefit of this cancellation is that this evening we are traversing the Gullet northbound under clear skies and with a beautiful sun angle.