Last night we tied up again in the most southern marina in the world: the sunken ship in Enterprise Harbour provided a pontoon for three yachts and two huge icebergs. To stop the icebergs drifting around one yacht had lassoed them with ropes and tied them to the shore where they strained at their moorings all night.
As we arrived a huge crashing noise sounded and a chunk of ice/snow the size of a transit van slid down the cliff next to the harbour and into the sea. It landed about thirty meters away from the boats in a big heap.
Through the night the tide came in and picked up the little pieces of fallen ice and washed them out to sea. As they passed the boat they tinkled off the steel hull. As we were alongside with shorelines out both sides we gave the anchor watch team the night off and cracked open a few bottles of wine. We had a roast pork dinner with apple sauce, spiced cabbage, roast potatoes and butternut squash. After dinner we played ‘the the hat’ which unsurprisingly featured a few Antarctic explorers and invited the boat next door round for a drink. Their boat ‘Commitment’ is an Ocean 60, one of very few fibreglass yachts down here. Most are steel or aluminium to deal with the constant danger of ice impact and Commitment with her 35 mm hull thickness is one of the strongest build fibreglass yachts around.
Why were we having all this below decks entertainment i hear you ask. Well, Antarctica is beautiful but it is not always pleasant. Yesterday and this morning the rain, sleet and snow have been falling and though there is still a whale sighting every hour or so and the icebergs are still neon blue, most people can’t sit outside for long before they are soaked through with icy cold and need a break below. This crew (unlike the lucky last months crew) are getting a taste of real, cruel, Antarctica. There is some good weather in the forecast though so as we head further south towards Paradise Harbour we should see less sleet and even some hope of sunshine!
In other news.
– The first sledging of the trip was undertaken yesterday afternoon on the slopes of a little hill next to Enterprise Harbour. This was helped by a couple trash compactor sacks.
– The first Antarctic ice was harvested for adding to Baileys and gin and tonics yesterday.
– Nick Higson survived a furious attack by Arctic Terns defending their nest and successfully got our shorelines on (tres manly).
– Kirsty has sustained a life threatening (minor) injury to her right hand whilst cleaning the heads but the patient is recovering well and has cleaned, bandaged and licked her wound this morning.
– Meal of the voyage is caramelised apple porridge (by Miss Kathleen Dwyer) closely followed by the roast pork. In third place after much deliberation are Nicks scotch pancakes.