Anchored ready for Christmas!!!!!

Adventure2013’s sight-seeing tour continued on Christmas Eve-Eve. We made the short hop across Paradise Bay from our overnight stop with our new Chilean friends to Base Brown, an unoccupied Argentine base. The crew hiked up the hill together for stunning vistas and some excellent photography both of Elinca down below and vice versa.
Given the aesthetics of the base itself, some members of the crew decided that the base must have been named after the colour of paint used for the huts and not their talismanic Admiral.

After lunch we set off under engine south through the Ferguson channel, west across Gerlache straight and then north up the Neumayer channel to our anchorage, in yet another Gentoo penguin colony at Port Lockroy.

In the southern approaches of the Neumayer channel we found the densest ice that we have seen so far. At times, forced to stop to manoeuvre the iceberg past the bow, though often the best tactic was simply to apply some forward pressure to create a path. Judgment of which lumps of ice were ok to drive into and those to avoid was acquired quickly by the two-strong boathook team stationed on the bow. The entire operation was a five-person effort: two prodding ice at the bow; one perched on the boom for a better look-out to identify open ice leads; one on the helm; and one to communicate.
After two hours of careful tip-toeing the passage cleared, though the final approaches to Port Lockroy required yet more twists, turns and close-quarters boat handling to arrive safely. Fortunately with light winds the ice bergs simply rocked gently in the tide. Wind would have made progress yet more difficult, even if the incessant snow just added to the frozen experience.

We are now tucked up in a good anchorage, with four shore lines running around various rocks and boulders. These are chosen not only for their suitability to hold us in place, but also where they won’t upset the resident nesting penguins. Thanks to Dave, the staff skipper on Pelagic for his help and local knowledge.

Yesterday marked a crucial turning point in the trip so far. While, since September 24th our prevailing heading has been in a southerly or south-westerly direction, yesterday we came as far south as this group will go. It is likely that the second Antarctic leg will come further south in January, but from 64 degrees 58 minutes south, we are for the first time in 3 months able to use the other half of the ship’s compass.

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and hope you enjoy the Elinca Christmas special!

Jim Clarke

Response to blog comment from Lara’s Mum:

Hi Mum!! Thanks for the Post, lovely to get a comment! Glad you like the blog :-). Merry Christmas, and more importantly Happy Birthday to you too! Miss you lots and looking forward to a hug when I get home! xxxxx

@ Julianna on the blog comments Re Cocktails at Enterprise harbour, from Tim:

Happy Christmas to you, Colin, and your Ma and Pa. I shall miss you all this new year, though the snow and ice will remind me of the last two.

The recommended cocktail list ran:
Chilean Pisco and Argentinean peach ‘tang’
Cape Verde Rum and freshly squeezed orange (we have boxes and boxes on board)
Anything with Brazilian Cacaca
All topped off with Glacier ice

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9 Responses to Anchored ready for Christmas!!!!!

  1. Anne Crawford says:

    Happy, Happy Christmas to all of you. Thanks for all the great descriptions you keep sending. This one of the icebergs is amazing. As I am writing this at 14.33 Christmas Eve, I notice it is already after 03.00 Christmas Day for you. Enjoy a very festive day! I just have to make sure you have some corny Christmas jokes…..

    What do snowmen wear on their heads?

    Ice caps!

    How do snowmen get around?

    They ride an icicle!

    What song do you sing at a snowman’s birthday party?

    Freeze a jolly good fellow!

    How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?

    One that’s deep pan, crisp and even!

    Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
    A mince spy!


  2. Barbara Segall says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful descriptions… loved the ice for the cocktails and would love to see some of your Penguin images… have a great Christmas from Barbara Segall, friend of the Clarke’s

  3. Joyce &Bernie says:

    Merry Christmas to you all, it all sounds fantastic, can’t wait to see the photos as the descriptions are amazing, a chunk of glacier in your cocktail really appealed to Bernie. Did you swim in speedos or wetsuits? We crossed the Irish Sea to IOM in force 9-10 – awful and made us appreciate so much what you have achieved. Merry Christmas Jon love Joyce and Berniex

  4. jean royse says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas and good New Year celebrations. It all sounds absolutely wonderful and difficult to visualise from a grey and dreary UK. Jean & Nick

  5. Heather Seddon says:

    Happy Christmas to you all. Have a great time. Thanks for all the great blogs.

  6. Josie Lennox says:

    A chemist went to sea sea sea,
    To see what he could see see see
    And all that he could see see see
    Was lots and lots of sea sea sea!

    Oh, Ali sailed a great big yacht
    With his hearty crew who laugh a lot
    We hope there is no nasty squall
    ‘N on Christmas day you have a ball!

    A chemist went to sea sea sea
    To see what he could see see see
    And all that he could see see see
    Was lots and lots of sea sea sea!

    Have a very Merry Christmas crew Elinca especially Ali and Juliet. Lots of love Mum, Dad, Jos, Tinny and Ma xxxx

  7. Diggory says:

    Happy birthday to Lara, and happy Christmas to all! Thinking of you…

  8. Rosie and John Burke says:

    Happy christmas to you all with lots of love to Juliet and Ali from Mum, Dad and Granny.

  9. Peter flutter says:

    Happy Christmas Elinca and all on board.
    Santa arrived at Winchester to visit Anna and Alice Sue’s youngest grandchildren at 3 / 5.
    After a huge lunch came a huge wash up
    Hope the anchor watch is uneventful. Did the Christmas puds get to the Antartic?

    Festive cheer from Peter and Sue

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