04 Feb 16 Part 1
Following on from Shady’s first now last ever blog, we ate like kings (and one queen) last night with a three course dinner on the yacht. The home-grown Antarctic cucumber was used in the Tzatziki and the spring onions were a welcome addition for the main course in Josh’s momma’s soup (American accent needed for effect). Dessert was panetone with custard, a random choice! This was all washed down with a some Spanish red wine; we dine with class down here 😉 The evening at anchor was a great chance for all to get a full night’s sleep as there was no threat of ice in Maxwell Bay opposite the Chinese research station.
We awoke this morning to a yacht full of smoke courtesy of the Doc (Donald) cooking a fried breakfast. The morning was spent packing kit and enjoying the sight of a few kit explosions from certain members of the team, no names mentioned. The team was ferried ashore in Ziggy the zodiac, who ensured that the Gore-Tex was fully tested before we even stepped ashore. On the beach we were welcomed by a committee of penguins curious to see the strange people in matching red and black outfits with huge grey backpack thanks to one of sponsors Mammut.
Once all of the team were ashore, we started our walk to Horatio Stump on the other coastline of King George Island. We were followed by two Petrels for the whole journey who insisted on flying close to our heads. The walk consisted of walking through hundreds of years’ worth of bird poo and boggy soil. The epic scenery of rocky outcrops and snow slopes made up for the previous.
Once we had navigated to our destination it was up to our resident Royal Marine Mountain Leaders to find an ideal spot for us to pitch the tents in snow, in preparation for out trip to South Georgia.
The tents were pitched on a snow slope to avoid the Westerly winds and were put up in quick time to ensure lunch was prepped. Lunch was dehydrated ration packs provided by Real Drytech Foods from Norway, with interesting menus such as Reindeer soup, chicken curry, pasta bolognaise and lamb mulligatawny. All in Norwegian and much better than our UK versions for cold weather meals.