At last! We are sailing again!

After yesterday’s 40 knots of wind directly on the nose and an initially very restless night at anchor in Hope Bay in Antarctic Sound, we now have a moderate 25 knots of wind from WSW. The sound of Mr. Perkins, which had recently become familiar due to a lack of wind and / or too much ice, but was nevertheless unpopular, has fallen silent and made way. Not silence in the conventional sense, but the silence of sailing: the whistling of the wind in the sails and shrouds, the gurgling of the water along the hull, the roar and slap of an overcoming wave and the rumble and clatter of the crockery in the lockers. Three sails are set: the jib, the main in the third reef and the mizzen. The Selma rushes along at 11 knots.

The sun of the last few days also bid us farewell yesterday evening with a furioso finale: golden-yellow, glowing orange clouds, partly blown into layered lenses by the strong high-altitude wind, dramatically glowing against a gloomy dark gray sky. They have made way for a lead-grey, washed-out, misty sky over a heavy sea the color of black steel. Complemented by the white-grey, grey-blue, white-blue or deep blue of passing iceberg giants – some drifting past in the distant haze, sometimes perfect geometric shapes, sometimes resembling fairytale castles or skyscrapers, some almost disturbingly close, close enough to touch. You felt as if you could reach out and touch this smooth, shimmering surface.

After a good week in the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, it’s time to change sides. We passed through Antarctic Sound yesterday and are now heading for the Bransfield Strait. Our destination for the next stage is the west side of the Peninsula. However, the wind is forcing us to take a detour across, or at least in the direction of, the South Shetlands. But we are flexible and have time, so we enjoy the peace and quiet and the rhythm that comes with sailing a bigger beat. Our sea legs are growing again, we enjoy (apart from one victim of seasickness) the confident movements of the Selma in the play of the waves, the visual reduction to the sky, horizon and ocean and the opportunity to process the countless impressions of the past few days.

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