As the winds stay baffling the sun makes a weak appearance

61’21S 067’23W

As quickly as it came upon us it disappeared in the fog, the last snowy peaks of the white continent. After our morning visit at Port Lockroy, we got the ship ready and headed out of the Bismarck strait, south of Anvers Island. When there is a chance of a good passage across the Drake one should take it. We motored out and as soon as we where clear of the last rocks a nice wind came up. It lasted until the morning when it faded into nothing. The fog once again defined our small world and ice watch was quickly put in place. Ice bergs where still around. Many big ones stranded on the of shore reefs and rocks. They are breaking up fast, sending thousands of bergy bids and growlers into the seas around. Some of them barely sticking above the sea level, but as big as a car.

The weather is calm as the fog suggests, so any dangers are spotted well in time. Our forecast talks of NW 15kn. That would not be bad. But before they arrive there will be a period of slack winds. We make use of it to motor NNW, to gain a better angel of the wind when it arrives.  This morning it was there. It is on and of and to be honest it is slightly frustrating. We are not saying this out lout because it could be a lot worse! Different birds surround the ship again. The White Chinned Petrel or “Cobbler” is the most abundant. it gets its nick name from the tendency to tap their bills in a hammering fashion at the burrow when they come ashore at night. They are the first to return to their sub Antarctic breeding colonies in October. The preferred food is squid and krill. At a first glance similar to the Sooty Shearwater with whom they share the Nothrn parts of the Drake. But after the first few sightings it becomes easy to tell the darker Petrel apart from the Shearwater.


Petrel



Shearwater

As the winds stay baffling the sun makes a weak appearance but obviously  has second thoughts. We are sailing with a full spread of canvas and a few layers of clothes less. All is well