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
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!