Tuesday 16 December 2014

Base A and our southernmost point

During operation Tabarin in 1941, the British set up a base here to keep an eye on enemy shipping and destroy old fuel dumps. Base A on Goudier Island (maybe more known as Port Lockroy) has become on off the most visited place in Antarctica, and today it was our turn.
Calm weather and sunny skies welcomed us to this historical place, which took us back to the 40´s and 50´s.

Here´s also a museum, kept much as it was in the 50´s, as well as a post office and a souvenir shop, so there was history, shopping and mailing postcards on todays “to do list”. In addition to all this, we had Gentoo penguins, Snowy Sheathbills and cormorants to greet us as well. After a couple of very interesting hours, it was time to leave and we said goodbye to the helpful and cheerful staff that stays here during the Antarctic summer.

We continued towards the strikingly beautiful Lemaire Channel, which was first sighted by German whaler Eduard Dallman in 1873. This eleven kilometre-long and 1.6 kilometre-wide channel was full of ice floes and burgy bits, so the traverse through went in a slow and easy pace. Many of us went out on deck to photograph and enjoy the stunning scenery of the steep cliffs and glaciers around us.


The second landing for today would be our last and most southerly point of our expedition, Petermann Island at 65°10´5 S / 064°07´6 W. It is perhaps more famous for its 1909 resident Jean-Baptist Charcot, who wintered here in a tiny cove which he named Port Circumcision.
Here we had Adélie penguins, imperial cormorants (blue-eyed shags) and the world’s southernmost Gentoo penguin colony and it was all there for us to enjoy. When afternoon became evening, it was time to leave and the captain pointed his ship towards Ushuaia, Argentina.

Later in the evening we all joined in the Panorama Lounge for the famous M/S Fram Crewshow, which was absolutely fabulous.