First landing

62’59S 60’22W 2130 utc 27-1-2023 course 263, speed 6.5kn

Underway to Deception Island. The famous caldera of the South Shetlands. This morning we crept through English Strait, We couldn’t see it be it was obvious it was there… A thick fog hid Greenwich Island and the snow that soon followed made it even impossible to look in the right direction. A confused sea rocked us all over the place as we wallowed past the submerged rocks. Nothing beats a simple but decent RADAR at these moments of trough! Two simple bearing lines on two Islands and of you go… As long as they are the right Islands… Getting closer to Discovery Bay the current also started to head us as did the wind. I promised we’d be in Yankee harbour by breakfast… Promises are a comfort to a fool… a late breakfast it was. By the time the anchor had made contact with Antarctica the sky’s started to clear and al looked very pleasant. The pancakes went down well after a wet night! We did our biosecurity check one more time and of into the dingy! Hands and fingers inside because we are of to look at a Leopard Seal. A big male was drifting by on an ice flow. A big smile on his face, probably meant he just had a good meal…The first landing! A stroll along the pebbled beach brought us to the remains of a sealers hut and a trypot (the one you use for boiling penguins..)We soon lost interest as we spotted the first gentoo chicks. They were everywhere! Chasing their parents for food and just making mayhem! Further down the beach we spotted some Antarctic fur seals who seemed not the least interested in us! That was reassuring after having to battle our way through packs at the beaches of South Georgia last trip! Further on a big male Elephant Seal seemed not to notice us and halfway up an icy slope lay Weddle Seal! Not bad for mornings walk. We soon headed back to the boat to make for Deception. The weather report gives us strong winds for the 28th so we need to make some mile south. And here we are. A bout to enter Neptune’s Belows, Deception Island. Hopefully an evening stroll in Whalers Bay and then a well-deserved couple of hours sleep!

Al is well

happy elephant seal

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