10-01-2020 | Tecla

10-01-2020

Yesterday the wind left us. We gave it al we got but to no avail. It left us rolling and pitching in the afternoon sun. We have been under engine ever since. This morning a fresh southerly sprang up and it has been keeping us busy ever since. We left the mizzen and the staysail up for some power, but they are no match for the short crested waves. According to the forecast it wont last long. We might even get some North Easterlies after this. We will see.

The temperatures of both the water and air are dropping fast. They are both around 4 degree. This is a sure singe we are going the right way. We must be getting close to the Convergence zone. The place where the two ocean currents meet. The east going Circumpolar flow created by the belt of westerly winds will meet the westerly set of the Antarctic waters. The colder water will sink and mix with the warmer water resulting in a rich marine feeding environment. Antarctic krill and similar crustaceans flourish, attracting many whales and birds.

This morning we had a flog of Prions around the ship. I don’t dare to claim which one for they are rather similar. They share a close resemblance to the blue Petrel but the later has white tip on his tail as appose to the black tip of the Prion. Prions, known to the early seamen as whale birds because of the spectacular flogs which gathered to feed on the plankton disturbed by the whale activity are confined to the Southern ocean. Small and blue grey, they carry striking M marks on their upper wings and have a black tipped tail. They gulp water rich in copepods ( hence their nick name Scooper) and force it out through a comb-like sieve which acts as a filter along the side of the bill. Fascinating to see all of this happening around the ship!

(Source of wild live information: Antarctica, a guide to wild live, Bradt)