Hi Folks, This is our second go at home contacts, doesn,t seem that long ago i left with our intrepid crew from Falmouth and here they are approaching their goal down in Antarctica.
Received the following from Clare and Tom this morning. Sounds like Tom is enjoying only his second sailing trip. His first was on the delivery of Elinca down from Greenock to Falmouth.
Here we go.
Blog part 1
First sight of the white continent for me was 02.00 local time this morning as I struggled out of bed and hauled myself to the chart table. I’ve not been at my best the last three days with the Drake (shaky Jake) passage leaving me sea sick for only the fourth time in nearly 9000 miles. It’s well worth it though as the South Shetland Islands glow gently in the morning light. For those of you with a map, we are entering through the Boyd Strait with Smith Island to our right (tall and mountainous) and Snow Island to our left (Low and pancake like). We are going to turn to port round the side of Snow Island and motor (there is no wind) north east up towards Livingston Island with the active volcano Deception Island on our right. At the top of Livingston Island there is a little Island with a distinctive shape called Half Moon Island. Opposite Half Moon and on Greenwich Island is Yankee Harbour. These two places are where we should find our first penguin rookeries. Half Moon has Chin Strap penguins and Yankee has Gentoo penguins so we should see both before tomorrow afternoon. After that we plan to make our way to Deception Island for a hot bath and a peek at the old whaling station in Whalers Bay before heading South down the Gerlache Straight to the Antarctic Peninsula itself. Tired but excited.
Last night there was more excitement as we nearly got the heater working but it was false hope 😦
Blog part 2
I got up for watch at 4am this morning to see the South Shetlands for the first time after almost 3 days of empty ocean which was a welcome sight. The passage has had its share of interest with many bird species including albatrosses keeping us company since the convergence and also some sightings of whales and penguins in the last day or two. As a complete sailing novice I have been constantly taught bits of pieces about the workings of a ship which has mostly been quite fun although changing a reef when the temperature is below zero leaves a lot to be desired from my gloves. Today also heralded our first iceberg, ominously looming about 25 miles away. A little too far to need fending off but we were ready and waiting should the need arise! Last night was a bit of a first as well, as the heater temporarily worked and my many layers of thermals came off under the duvet to provide a fairly effective wall against me getting up for watch.