Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Too much ice...

Neumayer channel on a good day
During the night we were forced to turn around due to heavy ice in the Lemaire channel and southwards, so we had to cancel our landing at the base at Vernadsky and a small boats cruise in the Lemaire channel. Instead we did a landing at Neko Harbour, home to a couple of thousands of Gentoo penguins and a glaciated landscape. During our stay we saw the American ice-breaker Laurence M. Gould, doing some sort or research...

Port Lockroy
During lunch we sailed north towards Port Lockroy an old British base from the 1940s. it has been restorated by the British Antarctic Heritage trust and is now the "shopping mall" of Antarctica, where you can get all from t-shirts to stamps and ties in the tartan patterns. The four people living there during the austral summer is by this way getting money to run their operations in keeping and restoring the old British stations in Antarctica. The record for one ship buying in the store is 20 000$ in one day!!!
We sailed through the Neumayer channel to Port Lockroy, it was beautifull, no wind, the sea was like a mirror, reflecting the beauty of the mountains and the glaciers. on our way we met the cruise ship Prince Albert 2 and at anchour in Port Lockroy we met the brig Europa a large three masted sailing ship, bringing passengers around in the old way.

People walking
The day ended with a hot cup of British "tea" and a Christmas hug from the locals and then we sailed north towards the South Shetland islands...

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