03 Feb 16 – Shady’s First Ever Blog
After years of ignorance I finally get to join the blogaverse; Tony has given me the task of fitting 24hrs into four or five paragraphs, this will prove a real challenge.
Picking up where Molly left off as the pod of Orcas
dive out of sight. We departed Antarctic Sound in the evening although you could be forgiven for thinking that it was high noon as the sun reflected off the snow and ice. The uncharacteristic smooth seas and crystal clear visibility set the scene with the gigantic Weddell Sea icebergs, lined like a squadron of enormous dazzling white battleships standing guard at the entrance to the sound, witnessed our departure.
The plan was for a short dash across the Bransfield Strait to King George Island; however, as any military personnel will tell you, “no plan ever survives contact with the enemy” and true to form the weather hadn’t read the plan. The passage was punctuated which numerous changes of sail as the wind changed direction and strength on a regular basis and just for good measure the fog closed in, bringing the challenge of weaving around barely visible icebergs. Finding shelter in Maxwell Bay at the Western end of King George Island the team dropped anchor in a sheltered cove and spent the morning catching up with some much needed rest.
The team had a pleasant excursion over to the Great Wall Chinese Research Station in the afternoon. Envious stares were cast over the seemingly luxurious accommodation, by comparison to the cosy confines of Xplore (apologies Steve, she’s lovely honest). As a treat the Chinese gifted some Antarctic-grown cucumbers and spring onions from their specially adapted greenhouse, which went down well for dinner.
Kris and Matt H inspecting Chinstrap Penguins on parade.