Gerlache Strait


Gerlache Strait

The Chilean base at Waterboat Point received us rather pleasantly. We were made welcome at the little museum and later invited for a cup of tea. Water Boat point derives its name from the adventures of two British explores Lester and Bagshawe who spent a whole year under a up turned waterboat in 1921. When the first whaling boat of the season arrived, they declined their offers of rescue because their scientific research was not yet complete. We had spent a comfortable night at anchor, watching the iceberg swirl by just missing our little cove. Just be for arriving at Water Boat Point while crossing Andvord Bay we spotted first two Orca’s but soon realized it were more. In the end we estimated there must have been up to 30 animals. In the middle was a mother humpback with her calf. We were not entirely sure what the relationship between the two species was at that time. We can only hope both prospered…

We left the Chileans to watch a football match with their neighbors, the Argentines. It was snowing heavily so Paradise Bay was mostly hidden from sight. When we arrived at Damoy it was late in the afternoon, but the weather had changed for the better. No time was waisted in getting up to see the rescue hut and after the pinguins on top of the hill. The views again were phenomenal! The two glaciers Hooper and William across Borgen bay on Anvers Island where glowing in the setting sun as we were dwarfed by Wiencke Islands Fief Mountains in the back. We had spoken to the crew at Port Lockroy and had agreed on a visit next morning. The Island is closed this season because of the bird flu so the staff packed their post office and little store to come and see us instead. We left straight after that for the Drake.

The forcast is good so there is no time like the present. Slalom true the ice in Neumayer Channal back into the Gerlache on our way out.

All is well, Gijs

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