More Bad Weather

This expedition is keeping to its need for flexibility. We arrived at Elephant Island at about 6 am this morning to find it shrouded in heavy fog and a 30 knot wind blowing from the north west. We stopped for a half hour and ddecided that it was not good enough to launch zodiacs and there was no point in hanging around. We could not see anything in the fog and the east coast of the island is iced in. Instead, of our planned visit, we set sail straight to the Antarctic Peninsular. This means that we now have three straight days at sea, but we will have an extra day to spend in Antarctica.

There is another advantage in doing this and that is the winds are forecast to increase significantly over the next day or so, because of a very strong weather pattern across a broad area of the Southern Ocean. Winds south of Ushuaia have been reported as being as high as 55 knots and apparently all the ships in the area are running for shelter to deep bays along the peninsular. The only creatures that seem comfortable with this weather are the whales.

IMGP2031 2

 At some time this afternoon, the wind changed to the south and the temperature instantly dropped to -3C. There are icicles on the outside handrails and while the sea is still smooth enough, it is bitterly cold outside. It will get better as we find sheltered waters in the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsular, but it is no place to be outside tonight.

Towards dusk, we came across an enormous tabular iceberg that had blown across from the Weddell Sea. It must have been over a mile long (and wide) and rose out of sea, perhaps 100 metres high. It had snow drifts blowing form its top surface and big waves pounding its base.



Bruce is a keen traveller and photographer. This web site describes his travel and family interests

One thought on “More Bad Weather”

  1. I’m imagining how it was like for the clipper sailors and all those who sailed before them. stay warm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


My Return to Queenstown

The Heritage Adventurer returned to the Port of Bluff at a quick pace to get there before forecast gale force winds. We docked on the high tide at around midnight andI have to say that it was much easier to sleep at a calm mooring rather than on the rough sea earlier in the night. […]

Read More

Campbell Island and Final Days of this Trip to the Sub Antarctic Islands

It’s a long between places in this area of the ocean. To reach Macquarie Island from the Auckland islands, it took a day and a night of sailing. It took a similar period to get from Macquarie Island (my last post) to Campbell island. It is now taking us in another 36 hours to return […]

Read More

Macquarie Island

Over the last few days, we have been at Macquarie Island, deep in the Southern Ocean . On the island is an Antarctic research station and Australian weather station, Of all things, there is a Telstra mobile phone tower. Because of Covid regulations, we were not allied to visit the base but we had plenty […]

Read More