Iceberg watch

30 Jan 16

As we arrived into the Martel Inlet of Admiralty Bay, there were two thunderous sounds; little did we know the amount of work this would cause us.

Early on the 30th of January there were loud crashes against the side of the boat. I naturally assumed this was bad news and grew a little nervous. Then I noticed Stephen (the skipper) was still happily in bed which I hoped meant we had little to worry about.

We worked a 2 man anchor watch, which is still ongoing, although it would be better named ice berg watch. It turned out the loud noises the night before where huge chunks breaking off of the Stenhouse and Ajax Glacier which feed into the bay.

Since 0630 this morning we have been locked in battle with vicious icebergs. We have worked a one hour on and four hour off system, always having two people on deck to fight off the incessant flow of ice. The majority were no bigger than a Shetland pony but some were as big as a Fiat Multipla and all we had to defend ourselves with was our courage, wit, a kelp cutter and a boat hook. Gusts up to 40 kts made matters worse. At one point an exceptionally large berg approached; there was no way we would be able to beat it off. We started the engine and moved as far over as we could without lifting our anchor. The berg made contact but no damage was caused.

For our evening meal, we honoured the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns by having what we hope is the most southerly Burns’ Night. Well, that’s happening tonight anyway.  The absence of a recipe didn’t deter Molly who produced a delicious Haggis, ‘neeps and tatties with a dressed potato skin starter and home-made brownies for dessert.  The “Chieftan o tha puddin’ race” moved Donald to recite Burns’ ode “Tae a Haggis” very enthusiastically.

We will most likely be anchored here until Monday when condition should improve and we can make our way to the Antarctic Peninsula, the mainland.

All in all it was a very blowie Saturday and the struggle with the frosty giants of the deep continues.

M.BMore Icebergs