Good bye Weddell Sea

We made it, the circumnavigation of James Ross Island!

And not just somehow, but it was a feast!

We saw so much wildlife, island scenery, countless natural ice sculptures, history (from fossils to huts of brave Antarctic explorers at the beginning of the last century) and experienced many exciting hours. Whether traveling together through densely packed ice floe areas or alone at night, watching over anchors, icebergs or drifting ships, listening in the dark to unfamiliar sounds such as penguins, whales and cracking ice.

Always in a good mood and enjoying the whole range of activities, perhaps most of all the almost vacation camp-like times on deck, listening to Alan playing his guitar in the warming sun.

After 8 days we were back at our anchorage in Brown Bluff, toasted our success with Kraken rum and also paid homage to Neptune and his wife with a glass each.

The evening was fun, although not long. The watch system with changing shifts around the clock, the many impressions and experiences, shore excursions, fresh air and good food (the galley teams always conjure up amazing creations in the smallest of spaces) make you tired.

We’ve also been on the road for 18 days now, 11 people in a very confined space. Some people need space and time for themselves, so they retreat to their bunk with a book or headphones and their favorite music.

And the sleeping bag is still the coziest place to be. The warmest room is the pilot house, where it is often around 12-15C, and you also have a view without having to stand on deck in the wind. The 2 seats (3 if you like to cuddle up) are usually occupied. Down in the saloon it’s 8C, which is fresh if you sit for a long time without moving, and I often have cold feet. Overall, however, the body adapts well to the cooler temperatures, and of course there are plenty of warming layers of wool and down from well-known outdoor brands on board, which are worn in layers on top of each other. It is so comforting not to be subject to any dress codes or vanities here, instead everyone tries to wear enough to feel “weddell seal comfortable”.

Outside, the scenery changed.

In the Wedell Sea we always had land and/or islands in sight, so we were protected and had a lot of floating ice around us.

Now we are in the Bransfield Strait, our next stopover is the small island of Astrolabe. Wind from the west (we will have to cross), the sea is rough, no land to be seen, only a few large tabular icebergs in the distance.

We set sail for new adventures, exploring the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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