Elinca’s southern-most point

All woken this morning as the wind forecast for later in the day had got up
earlier and we had to move fast to get out of the way of icebergs moving
towards us. Our unbelievable blue skies yesterday had gone back to delicate
shades of white on white and limited visibility. Once out of the bay a
couple of dinghies went off to enjoy closeups of the icebergs,collect ice
for later and record the extraordinary colours and shapes looming all around
us. Blue slashes and holes in the cold white blocks melting slowly into a
myriad of shapes. In between them little blocks we could push aside with a
paddle. Back on board we set off on the Lone Emperor Penguin hunt, led by
nature guide Cliggy. After a long dinghy trip dodging rocks and ice, (s)he was
spotted sitting alone near to a colony of nesting gentoos and shags. Not yet
adult he had not developed the distinctive golden cheek, and was looking a
bit down in the dumps moulting and without any emperor company for hundreds
of miles. While returning to Elinca Cliggy’s group were lucky enough to spot a Leopard Seal on their way back to the boat.
The weather came in and we had quite a blizzard with a minefield of small icebergs. However the weather then brightened and we were able to admire the magnificent scenery. The icebergs in particular took incredible forms and textures depending on their various states. We were lucky to come across one with a massive hole to give a photo op to take dramatic shots of Elinca in the ice. After lunch we set off in groups for our first Adelie colony.These black faced penguins enchanted us all with their extraordinary ability to zoom around on ” all fours” uphill as well as down. And there cartoon like chicks….wait for the photos.
Back on Elinca we moored to a pretty sheer rock face already owned by a lot of nesting skuas which were thoroughly put out by Nick’s unexpected appearance.
WE HAD REACHED ELINCA’S SOUTHERN MOST POINT 65 deg.14.7 min so James generously shared a special bottle of special Glen Livet to celebrate. We were joined by the crew from a neighbouring yacht, and then as we were moored close to the Ukrainian base at Vernadsky Island, the Base Commander arrived in style bearing chocolate and demanding to kiss the captain and see our passports. Things were moving into party mode, more tomorrow…

Fanny and Stafford

For Prue, Bea and Hector. Thanks for your message ages ago. Lovely to hear from you. Answer to Bea’s question, yes I think steering the boat is rather like using a sewing machine but generally speaking you probably try and go straight whereas as we now have to avoid great icebergs or go over to look at wildlife on the shore or an iceberg. We have seen millions of gentoo penguins, quite a lot of seals including one sighting of the dreaded leopard
seal…..and just one lone emperor penguin who has got lost. Pretty cold with five or six layers of clothing on all the time….but all good. Lots of love to you all, please pass on. xxxx mummy

For Adrian. Thanks for your message. More than up to expectations in every way except that we have no working heater (never mention the word on board), but bodies adapt and it is infintitely more fun than being on a cruise ship. Love to you both

For Elaine, I’m alive and well and loving it 🙂 No pictures yet until we get back to civilisation and an internet connection I’m afraid but don’t worry I have taken 700 of them already…not all of me!!! Hope you are well. Was dreaming about whatsapp the other night (or day..it never gets dark here at the moment).
For Mammy and Daddy G – hope you enjoyed the show and happy birthday for yesterday Dad.
Gemma xx

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6 Responses to Elinca’s southern-most point

  1. paula355 says:

    We are wondering a) what sort of appearance did they expect in nick. I know the beard is not receiving full acceptance by all his friends but just wondering how these creatures already knew what he looked like. Ralph is keen to know whether it was because he had secretly stolen and donned Zoe’s penguin suit. Mind you if he was wearing a bow tie and waistcoat his parents would soon join the skuas to be startled by this most unexpected appearance.
    B) we are concerned about the skippers declining whisky stocks and hope suitable supply chain is being fully implemented
    C) we look forward to meeting this lonely emperor as we have been promised a Xmas present and of course it couldnt possibly be left all alone.
    D) we also wondered if James was wearing his queen Neptune garb

  2. Prue Mitchell says:

    Hi mum!! Celebrated hearing first news of you with a quick chat to Richard and Jane- all well there- made plans to meet them in Falmouth mid may…might have to sail there in an ark if rains don’t slow. Everyone fine here. Glad you are all having such an amazing time- lots of love p xxx

  3. msg to Stafford….you missed a delicious Sunday lunch game casserole feast with Brian and Jen, Rob and Libby, ian and Kate at Andy and Rachel’s with Jack and Leah. We send our love and best wishes and hope the black whisky went down well all those miles away. Your stream all sorted Jack fixed it and i used a stick.

  4. Fingoggin@hotmail.com says:

    Hi Gem! I should have replied to this a few days ago but got waylaid! I am soooo envious reading the blog. It’s an amazing adventure. Can’t wait to see some photos. Safe trip back up and hi to Clare!

  5. Marie says:

    Message to Fanny: I’m enjoying this fascinating blog! A celebration lunch has been organised for your return. Details by email. love, Marie

  6. Sarah Craig says:

    Hi Dad (Staff)! Seems like you are having an amazing trip…we have all been following the blog!! Now that you are back near dry land we hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip full of red wine and steak. Love you lots. From all of us xxxx

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