Friday 16 December 2011

Antarctic nature makes the rules

It should have been our last day in Antarctica with two landings in different penguin colonies. But even our expedition leader made a good plan for the day, and there is always at least a plan B, sometimes we have to except, that the nature is in charge of the real plan.

The early morning started with a strong storm. We could feel it already when we were still lying in bed. The ship was moving strongly and everything we didn’t secure properly the night before, was rolling through the cabin. The wind picking up very fast and soon it became clear, that there wouldn’t be any possibility for a landing in the morning. In gusts the wind was blowing 60m per second, these are more than 200 km per hour and that corresponds to a very strong Hurricane. We were lucky that we were sheltered next to Livingston Island.

The captain made the decision to stay during the morning next to Livingston Island waiting for better weather conditions, but at 2pm we started to sail north into the Drake Passage. The wind was still blowing at around 30m per second, but FRAM behaved very well under these special conditions.

The lecture team offered us lecturers during the afternoon, but not everybody was able to join. In the evening the wind was blowing up again and most passengers made the decision to go to sleep very early.

Around 7.30pm our captain Arild HÃ¥rvig made a last announcement into all cabins. He ended with the sentence “enjoy the nature”. And of course, we all came down to Antarctica to enjoy nature. But for sure all passengers dreamed about another nature. On this trip Antarctica showed us all variations of nature. The strong storm of course we enjoyed best in our bed in our nice cabins.