Hello all! Todays blog is going to pick up from where we left you yesterday, on our first blue sky day with spirits high and cameras snapping. After a final burst of frantic postcard writing the mail was dropped off with the lovely ladies of Port Lockroy to start its 3 month journey to you. Apparently they send on 40000 postcards per year from here. So with that we weighed anchor and set off in the bright sun to head towards the Lemaire channel, a spectacular local landmark. En route we were treated to a feast of wildlife delights including a whale breaching the water to come play, some crabeater seals sunning themselves on the ice floes and of course, as everyday, penguins skipping effortlessly through the water as they fished for dinner.
The spectacular scenery was enhanced even more so by the perfect blue sky and warm sun and it added the perfect notes to our visit to the Lemaire passage, a long narrow straight surrounded on both sides by the high rock and snow covered mountains and heavily littered with ice , big and small, all through the straight. Clare, James and Torsten did an amazing job picking out a winding path for Elinca all the way through, whilst the foredeck crew fended off the more pesky bits of ice from the bows with boathooks. ‘The “paparazzi core” had a hard days work recording the outstanding scene from every angle for posterity, so look out for a photo coming to a space near you. As if the Lemaire passage was not enough to satisfy ourselves, we then popped out into a bay affectionately known as the iceberg graveyard which was met with even more oohs and ahhs as a perfectly still water was littered with icebergs of all shapes and sizes, it was truly breath-taking. We wove our way gently and quietly through until we found our anchorage for the night. What followed was a master class in knitting and running shorelines, until we were tucked neatly into a very small cove surrounded on all sides by penguin colonies where we enjoyed a gin and tonic, cooled with Antarctic ice, followed by a very hearty fish pie as the sun started to set.
But our day was not yet over, a final landing party set out to walk up the little hill next to our harbour to watch the sun set. After a short scramble up the rocks we were greeted with the scene of the day on what was a very scenic day. The colours were amazing with golds, reds and blues as the sun dipped down beyond the iceberg graveyard. We were feeling like the luckiest people in the world. A short hop back down through the penguin colonies brought us back to Elinca for a hot chocolate and a well earned rest.
This morning it was back to normal after our perfect day, we had a rude awakening as an iceberg gently drifted alongside the boat into our harbour, which resulted in a reasonably hasty lifting of the anchor and releasing of the shorelines. The wind had changed direction and the beautiful sunny day is now a lovely memory as we have grey skies again. We’re all just finishing up our porridge and setting off to look for a colony of adelie penguins and possibly a sighting of an emperor penguin.