Posted by: tim ellis | October 9, 2005

Antarctica – Sunday 21st November, 2004

This morning we really have crossed the convergence- and the weather is much clearer although the temperature is down to 8c in the sun and 2C in the shade. There are lots of birds following us this morning including a number of Sooty Albatross and some Antarctic Petrel in amongst the ever – present Cape Petrel.

We cross the 60th parallel at around lunchtime and are making good time, so should see Elephant Island late this afternoon. Before that is a Compulsory Antarctic briefing at 3.00 PM where the rules are reiterated. This is followed by ‘boot washing’ to ensure we don’t contaminate Antarctica with plant life carried from the Falklands. Firstly though to important events intervene- the captain turns off the stabilisers and we spot our first Iceberg!

Boot washing is followed by hot chocolate – thoughtfully fortified with rum!

Elephant island looms out of the mist as we head for Point Wilde – the beach where Shackleton’s men waited while he sailed for South Georgia – with the weather clearing as we come alongside to photograph the desolate beach and the chinstrap penguin colonies that are the island’s sole inhabitants. As the weather closes in again, and with a slight flurry of snow we gather on the pool deck for a (champagne) toast to Shackleton.

The evening arrival has caused some rearrangement of the program, so there is no recap tonight. Tomorrow, the current plan is to go ashore at Brown Bluff in the morning and visit the Argentinean base in Hope Bay in the afternoon.



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