Posted by: tim ellis | October 9, 2005

Antarctica – Monday 22nd November, 2004

It is quite squally in the night so we havn’t quite reached Brown Bluff this morning- however the catering staff have agreed to postpone lunch to fit in to our revised timetable. We pass several interesting icebergs before sighting land. There are a great many penguins ashore – apparently both Adelie and Gentoo. Unfortunately the wind and swell makes it too dangerous to try and launch zodiacs- the test launch is nearly swamped – so we re-rearrange lunch back to the normal time and set sail for Hope Bay and Esperanza base.

The weather is calmer so we are able to disembark this afternoon – although the Zodiac ride is still quite choppy and the wind when we land is both strong and very cold. We pass a Nordenstrom hut (about 100 years old) on the way to an adelie rookery, then into the base proper where we visit the museum, the school and the casino(! More of a bar – come ‘village hall’) before walking up to ‘Trinity House’ – the old British base- now owned by the Uruguyans – but not currently manned. We have to take a slightly circituitous route to avoid the breeding site of some birds ‘like flamingoes’ which turn out to be Antarctic Tern.

A bumpy ride back with a detour to see Iceberg and porpoising penguin. The commander of the base (and his family and others) joins us for our recap session (and dinner).

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