Saturday, December 24, 2005

Reflections Lemaire Channel

The evening was spectacular. After the BBQ on the deck it was impossible to venture inside as the night became more and more beautiful and we entered the Lemaire Channel. In the morning this same channel had been completely blocked by pack ice and un navigable, amazing the difference a day makes! If you look closely at the base of the cliff coming down on the right, the small black dot you can see in the water is another boat - that's how vast the distances are in Antarctica. We were meeting this boat - another of the Quark expedition boats to exchange some zodiac outboard motors. Two expedition staff disappeared into the vast pack ice in a tiny zodiac to deliver them - they don't even appear in the picture.The passage took several hours and was absolutely magnificent

Reflections Lemaire Channel

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pack Ice in the Drake

This was the first view of what was to come that night as we entered the ¨infamous Drake Passage¨.The view from the bridge was spectacular with many large icebergs sparkling in the setting sun, a great time for those last photos, just in case I didn't already have enough. It's that line of solid white ahead of the boat that suddenly had the crew a little concerned and the captain on the bridge. Which resulted in much smoking as all scanned the horizon for a clear passage.
As the sun set the pack ice became thicker and the passage changed regularly, with lots of stops and starts and plenty of chain smoking as all eyes searched for the hidden icebergs in the drifting pack ice.

Pack Ice

It was hours before finally we cleared this lot.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I Really Am Crazy

Just to prove that I was one of 35 totally crazy people who did go swimming in Antartica! Image hosted by Photobucket.comWe were told??? silly us to believe such a thing! that the water in Pendulum Cove would be warm and during the visit to Whaler´s Bay on Deception Island that morning there was steam emanating from the sand and yes the water was warm to feel. Swimming there is not a good idea as there is a lot of rubble from the old station, so we patiently waited until the evening and the promised warm water. Unfortunately it was not to be; but when you are there you just have to do it! And I have swum in some other rather interesting and obscure places - so I was silly enough to be the first to take the running dive and probably the first out again. It was rather invorating, the worst part was that the ground underfoot is actually volcanic stone and is very difficult to walk on barefoot. The shower on the boat never looked or felt so good - and we had a lousy shower.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.comImagine: Complete silence, peace, beauty, colour formed within thousands of years of ice, patterns and formations that take a form and change within minutes. It is impossible for me to find the words to describe the beauty of the trip between the iceburgs and to convey the feeling that they give, but a few pictures might help.


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