Probably the best landing ever..........

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
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Trip End Jan 19, 2007


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Flag of Antarctica  ,
Sunday, November 19, 2006

Guess how we feel this morning?! After several gallons of water we have our next briefing for:

Cuverville Island (64 degrees 41S, 62 degrees 38W)
Dark rocky island lying in the Errera Channel between the Arctowski Peninsula and the N part of Rouge Island off the W coast of Graham Land. Discovered by the BelgAe under Gerlache 1897-99 who named it for JMA Caverrlier de Cuverville (1834-1912) a vice Admiral of the French Navy. Bet you didnt know all of that either!

Outside in yet more great weather, albeit a bit colder we wake up and feel better. The scenery of cliffs and the by is wonderful yet again. As normal photos just about give you the idea. Gentoo penguins are nesting all the way up the hill and along the beach we even see a couple mating! In the distance there are misty looking mountains and icebergs as clouds start to come in. Another side to Antarctica shows its face and the weather becomes slightly more what we envisaged.

All in all this is my favourite landing as the scenery with all the icebergs plus the penguins is absolutely incredible. Just when you think the trip cant get better, it does.

However, we are still desperate for lunch! After that we force ourselves to stay awake as we navigate through channels, past mountains and yet more great scenery and icebergs from blue to white. On the bridge we chat to the Captain and Navigational Officer who tell us about their sightings of killer whales killing a Minke whale near here previously. We then spot a ship in the distance which is a Chilean navy vessel and they contact us by radio and move out of our intended next landing site. Next thing a helicopter literally appears out of nowhere and lands on their ship. Is weird to see all this after no sign of human life for the last few days (apart from us off course!!)

We have our briefing on our next site an old British base which is now run as a museum and historic site for 4 months a year by a historical trust. They also do some limited research there.

Port Lockroy (64 degrees 49S, 63 degrees 30W)
Harbour 0.5 mileees and wide. Entered between Flag Point and Lecuyer Point on the west side of Wiencke Island in the Painer Archipelago. Discovered by the FrAE 1903-5 and named by Charcot for Eduouard Lochroy a French Politician and Vice President of the Chamnber of Deputies who assisted Charot in obtaining government support for the expedition.

We pull into the bay and boat around to the island. It is now a lot colder and there are specks of snow falling. We are met on the snowy beach by Rick, one of the 3 UK staff who work here for the 4 months a year. They have renovated the old buildings here destroyed by the elements and developed the museum and shop here. I was a bit disappointed to learn there was a shop here but was also a bit excited too.

All outside the buildings there are penguins nesting on the rocks just outside the door. It is difficult to adopt the guidance of not going more than 5 metres away from them!
They are conducting a study here to see if penguins are bothered by human life so we cant visit part of this very small island. From the proximity to the buildings they have chosen to nest in I would suggest they dont care!

After more penguin watching we go inside and see the renovated living quarters of previous expeditions and staff. The main thing that hits us is the quantity of Marmite they have in the kitchen. Dave is jealous. There are also loads of UK food products we are heartened to see Tate and Lyle golden syrup, Cadburys choc, Quaker porrige oats, HP Sauce amongst the few. Old copies of newspapers when the Duke of Edinburgh visited and telegram messages. It is fascinating to see it all. Yet another side to Antarctica. We manage to stop ourselves buying anything in possibly the remotest shop in the world as it is not the cheapest and most of it has been made in the UK!! We do however get to send postcards which is great. Fingers crossed they make it home. We also get our passports stamped too. Very cool.

Back outside we see the old sledges for supplies and more penguins and decide to go back on board as we are getting cold. The one time we dont put all our layers on!!

After dinner we have a much needed early night as we now head from our southernmost point northwards.
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