Friday Blog

Can,t believe this is the first blog from Zoe where has she been hiding all this time.

Hey everyone, Zoe here. So, I’ve finally got around to writing my first
proper blog since Falmouth. It’s only taken nearly three months and over
8,500 miles of sailing to get to it!

We are currently motorsailing down the Gerlache Strait tiptoeing our way
past icebergs, growlers and bergy bits(!) towards Enterprise Island. Trinity
Island lies on our port side and the Antarctic Peninsula peaks poke out
beyond. Enterprise Island, approximately 100 nautical miles from Deception
Island, has a grounded whaling ship (a bit of marine archaeology!) which we
can tie alongside and put our feet up, due its safe mooring.

Yesterday morning (Thursday, apparently) our watch gently woke the rest of
the crew up to the sound of a few cheesy Christmas tunes, smell of freshly
made coffee and porridge as it gently snowed outside, and whilst we were
still at anchor in Stancomb Cove/Telefon Bay, Deception Island. All bets are
off for a White Christmas here.

After filling up on breakfast we headed across Port Foster to Pendulum Cove
for a bathe in the hot spring waters that have been geothermally heated and
trickle down towards the bay. It made for a surreal experience stripping
down (in negative temperatures) out of our multiple layers of clothing to
our swimmers and digging out pools to mix the hot water with the cooler
seawater. However, once we had established our line of mini pools along the
beach the reward made for the warmest I’ve felt in a month and a sneaky
visit from a group of Gentoo penguins!

The backdrop for bathing was an abandoned Chilean base which amounted to
strange pieces of warped metal sticking out of the snow-covered black
beach – it was destroyed as a result of the volcanic eruptions of the 1960s.
Our final stop in Deception Island was Whalers Bay. After anchoring we
headed into shore to investigate the remnants of the whaling station, old
British base and aircraft hangar. We then cautiously navigated our way through the narrow
gap, known as Netpunes Bellows, with the volcanic walls looming over us and
headed southwards.

Right, better get back to Berg Watch and work on warming up my very cold
toes. Just enough time for me to wish everyone at home a very Happy
Christmas. Have a mulled wine for me!


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6 Responses to Friday Blog

  1. George says:

    Can’t believe it’s been this long to hear the characteristic words of my sister! Love the bergy bits. Very nice hear from you and the Auckland family are avid followers of the blog so keep up the informative posting. It sounds magical and I am very jealous of you having a white Christmas guaranteed. All the best.

    George Junior

  2. George Auckland says:

    How wonderful to hear from Zoe – brilliant blog. An early happy Christmas from Mum, Dad and George – all consuming mulled wine. Miss you greatly but sounds amazing. Dad thinks it sounds rather Dr Who-ish! But I don’t remember a penguin in the script. Aucklands

  3. Anne Crawford says:

    Hiya Zoe and gang,
    I promised to keep in touch after the lovely Jess left (in body but not in spirit!) so keeping the promise. Good to get a blog from you Zoe and such an interesting one too. I looked up Deception Island and Chinstrap penguins and still keep learning such a lot…like the Chinstraps are the most aggressive of all penguins. Now I need to look up Gentoo penguins. You are all so brave sailing between those icebergs but what a fantastic adventure of a lifetime. I guess you will always remember the extreme cold then bathing in those wonderful hot pools.
    I will end with a little Christmas cracker joke…(Do I hear you all say ‘Oh no!)
    What do you get if you cross a snowman with a vampire?

    Frost bite!

  4. Andrea says:

    Finally Miss Auckland! Hope you’re keeping that cabin cosy, or have you moved to another one now? Expect the blanket is now very welcome! Looking forward to a picture of you in a certain outfit next to a real one πŸ˜‰ see you in Jan xx

  5. Hi Zoe great blog and what an adventure you are all having – wishing you and the rest of the crew a Happy Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year. will catch up on your return love Ada & Derek

  6. Ellie Maffett says:

    Zoe!!!! You have no idea how gutted I am to have missed your call today! And to miss you by only 25 minutes… We have just got back from Greenwich taking Granny for Christmas lunch at Gill (M’s sister) and Chris’s. Giles is in Devon with Hannah, and Christmas is just not the same without you (and your hugs!) here, so all in all it’s been a different Christmas – but not as different as yours!

    Just looked at Deception Island on the map – it’s so cool! Have been enjoying your 12 days of Christmas too (can definitely hear your voice coming across strong!).

    Miss you loads. Seeing your lovely family has been great, but not quite the same! I gave them all a few hugs from you though. George pulled out some fab trumpteting at Christingle as I’m sure you can imagine. Not as much fun without your giggles though! My rents send much love. Laura says we should make plans to go visit her in Zurich when you’re back which I’m game for.

    Love you loads and loads, and a very very merry Christmas.


    From a hymn that’s been running around my head today:

    Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour
    all for love’s sake becamest poor.
    Throne for a manger didst surrender,
    sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
    Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour
    all for love’s sake becamest poor.
    – what an amazing God who would give up thrones and sapphire-paved courts to come alongside us to save us!

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