Friday 14 December 2012

Camping and cruising, Amundsen-like

Late last evening we put up a tent camp on Petermann Island for some passengers and a few of the expedition staff. The night ended up to be short due to a hike to a view point from where we could see an uncountable amount of icebergs all the way to the horizon. Standing and sitting there without talking and without camera-noise revealed a concert of natural sounds to us, like small waves hitting under or against the ice blocks and bergs, accentuated by a variety of birds’ voices singing and trumpeting into the aquarelle-lighted night.
Today in the morning all other passengers went ashore in groups for a scenic walk on the island and to the penguins and shags that are nesting with a view towards the southern end of the Lemaire Channel.

That is where another lucky bunch started a new adventure: A polar circle boat cruise through the channel heading North. Nature experienced in a breathtaking way. In the end, it was a bunch of smiling faces that came back onboard Fram.

This -we think- was a perfect and fitting way to celebrate the fact that 101 years ago exactly on this date, 14th December, Amundsen reached the South Pole .

And on we went through Neumayer Channel to Goudier Island where Port Lockroy and the British Base A are located. The team of four who maintain the place are always heartily welcoming. Many of the passengers were impressed by the museum in the old Base A main building, others by the gentoos all around the buildings, or by the high mountain range and glaciers that frame the bay and shelter Goudier Island in the midst of it. I personally am impressed by the eyes of the station's crew. Without a word, just with a heart-touching view they say "How nice that you are here." Thank you! And looking forward to seeing you again in a short while.