We’re currently at Waterboat Point, Paradise Harbour in position 64 49′ S 62 51′ W. We’re anchored with three shore lines out next to the Chilean Gonzalez Videla base.
Yesterday we woke up to a beautiful, still, clear morning on Enterprise Island with the French yacht Vaihere alongside us. We hopped into our fleet of dinghies and motored around to the beach, where there’s a local peak that’s free from crevasses and we had a great walk up there. There were amazing views along the Gerlache Strait and the Plata Passage from the top. After taking many photos and building a snowman we headed back down again, with the final part of the slope being great for sledging down. We discovered that our Buffalo tops are nice and slippy and make an ideal sledge if you don’t have room in your boat to bring a proper one. It was quite warm yesterday, with an air temperature of +3 degrees Celsius, but the lack of wind and clear skies meant that it felt much warmer.
After a quick lunch back on Elinca we left Vaihere alongside the sunken whaling ship and headed south through the Plata Passage between the Antarctic Peninsula and Brooklyn Island. In places the ice cliffs come straight down to the water and there was only a narrow gap between the island and the mainland giving stunning views. All the ice cliffs mean that there are lots of icebergs and bergy bits in the water and so we take it in turns to have one person on the helm and a lookout helping the helm to thread their way through the ice. In Wilhelmina Bay we put two of the boats in the water to get some photos of Elinca with a backdrop of a large iceberg that was melting into beautiful patterns.
After a quick passage along a stretch of the Gerlache Strait we headed into the Errera Channel, past Danco Island, as there are fewer rocks in it than in the main Gerlache Strait. Again, there were ice cliffs either side of us leaving lots of ice in the water. Most of the time we could easily thread our way between bits of ice, but several times there was so much ice that we had to slow down and motor gently through the thinner patches.
The anchorage here at Waterboat Point is very tight and so to stop us swinging, after we’d anchored, we used two of the dinghies to run out lines to the shore to stop us swinging in the night. It’s a great natural harbour and a rocky reef stops the bigger bits of ice from entering. We’ve been sat here watching them drift quite quickly up and down in the channel with the tide. Smaller bits can still enter and so we’ve had an anchor watch of two people awake all night to keep an eye on the ice and to nudge any bits away from us if they’re likely to get near the rudder or propeller.