Penguins and Chilean Hospitality

Hi Folks, My last blog post it is over to someone else tomorrow. Hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as i have. Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you all, From Jim and Carolyn Boyce

Blog update:

Its 4.30am here on a snowy windless morning and i thought i should just be able to squeeze an update of yesterday’s activities in between the wall-to-wall action of anchor watch…

We awoke to a chorus of a raucously happy Gentoo penguins that form a colony in and around the Chilean naval base at Paradise Harbour. A steaming vat of porridge awaited us before we set out in the dinghies to set foot for the first time on mainland Antarctica. There was much rejoicing. The occasion called for a set of shameless advertising photos where the crew showed off their natural good looks and slightly dodgy facial hair in a series of perfectly natural poses. Although the crew themselves may have left something to be desired, the backdrop of Paradise Harbour was a constant reminder of how stunning the local landscape can be. After the photoshoot, we winded our way through the various Gentoo colonies to take a peek at the Chilean military base.

The base consists of four naval crew and eight air force who were incredibly happy to see a set of visitors. We stopped for a short stop in the museum which quickly became an invitation for lunch in the warmth of the main building. There was much rejoicing. The crew again flourished under the high demands of the Chileans, providing multi-lingual small talk to a relaxing backdrop of 1980s electro pop. A few crew members seemed slightly overwhelmed by the lack of clothes needed when inside a heated building, not to mention the leather sofas and Wi-Fi provided by the military base. The lunch invite soon turned into several hours later, and we made full use of the Chilean hospitality. When we finally prised ourselves away from the traditional mix of salsa and karaoke, it was after we had been presented with certificates for our rousing display of international politics and had in return presented the Chileans with a flag of our own. However the Chileans were delighted and invited us back for Christmas, New Year and anytime in between or after. It was a great to have a small taste of South American culture mixed with the unique flavour of life at an Antarctic base.

This morning we will be continuing on through Paradise Harbour, stopping for the night at either Base Brown or continuing on to Port Lockroy to start the Christmas festivities.


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2 Responses to Penguins and Chilean Hospitality

  1. Congratulations to James, Clare and all the crew on board Elinca on reaching the great white down under, from youth at Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, who remember sailing with James on the John Laing. We have been tracking you all the way, with a two metre map of your voyage, marking off the points of the blogs.
    Thanks for the vivid and graphic detail in the crew blogs – feels like we were with you! Wishing you all a safe and Happy Christmas, as we raise a glass to your amazing adventure and the next installment. Take care and best wishes, from Mike Bassett.

  2. David Remedios says:

    Hey Jim and the rest of the crew, Woohoo! You made it. How did the G&T taste with Antarctic ice? Well done to you all; what an incredible achievement. I have really enjoyed your blog posts and photos.

    Have a Merry Christmas with your new South American buddies – and Jim try not to create an international incident after a few swigs of mezcal.

    David R

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