Sunday 19 February 2012

True Antarctic Experience

In Antarctica, we always need to be prepared. Prepared to whatever the weather has prepared for us. And today, that was snow and wind!

Outside temperature: –4°C.
Felt temperature (which includes the chill factor of the wind): -17°C!

Of course that did not affect our spirit! As we all know, there is no bad weather, but only the wrong clothing. Dressed up with several layers, off we went to visit the Argentinean station Esperanza in the Antarctic Sound.

The base was founded in 1952 and 8 children were born here between 1978 and 1980. Today, no more pregnant women are sent down, but they do send families with children of all ages. We had the opportunity to see their school, the chapel, the “Casino”, a small museum and also the remains of the hut built by 3 members of the Nordenskj√∂ld expedition in 1902/03.

Later, we tried another landing at Brown Bluff. However, the wind had picked up to a Beaufort 9 (later in the evening even to a Beaufort 11) and made a safe operation impossible. Instead, we did ship cruising through fantastic scenery, sailing with MS Fram as far south as the entrance of the Weddell Sea.

Yes, we missed a landing, but was the sight of spectacular tabular icebergs (the largest 1,5 km long!) perhaps not much better?