We are now into day 3 of our Southern ocean crossing, and overnight tonight we will reach a milestone by crossing 60 degrees South and officially entering Antarctic waters. The weather is turning and we are now in a race to get to a good anchorage to wait out the next storm – we are aiming for Admiralty Sound, King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.
This afternoon Port Watch encountered the first iceberg, not by eye (due to the fog that has lingered all day) but on the radar. It came within 4 miles of the yacht which is close enough!
So how does the watch system work? It is similar to defence watches in Royal Navy ships, where half the crew are up at any one time (mostly up on deck keeping watch, unless one or two of them are down below cooking dinner, cleaning, or making one of the many rounds of wets – hot drinks for those non-matelots reading this blog). Port Watch consists of Shady, Donald, Molly, Josh and Matt B. Starboard Watch is Tony, Matt H, Dan, Kris and myself (Emily). The watches are 6 hours during the day and 4 hours overnight – though there really isn’t much darkness this far South at this time of year. One Watch will do 0700-1300, 1900-2300 and 0300-0700 whilst the other will do 1300-1900 and 2300-0300, swapping the following day. Stephen and Tim work opposite each other to keep an eye on progress and provide an additional mind to any decisions that need to be taken.
Tonight we tucked into the last of the travelling food – cottage pie prepared back when we were waiting out the last storm in the Falklands, so all that was left was to put it in the oven. The good thing about being on a yacht with 11 carnivores is that there is usually someone willing to swap veg for the meat in my meal!
Position: 59.30’S 057.30’W
The iceberg spotted on radar during the Afternoon Watch, 28 Jan 16