the heroic trip of Shackleton and his crew

61’36S 055’33W

course 235

speed  6 kn

Elephant Island, Point Wild. 106 years ago the ship wrecked crew of the Endurance spend a cold 4 months on this little spit on the north shore of this South Shetland Island. It was the departure point of the heroic trip of Shackleton and his crew in their converted live boat to South Georgia, across the Scotia sea. For us it was our first Antarctic stop. The weather was clear and sea state relatively calm. We crept up in to the little exposed cove and set out for a dingy cruise. It was clear from the start that a landing would be hard if not impossible. As we drew closer we did not even bother trying. We had a good look at the Bust of Captain Luis Alberto Pardo, master of the Yelcho the ship that rescued the remaining party of the Endurance. After this we made a toast and got out of there!

Cape Look Out with the Macaroni Pinguin colony. Guided by Fin whales and Humpback whales we cruised along the forbidding coast of Elephant Island. We let go in 10 mtr of water in a little cove just of Cape Lookout. Splendid scenery and wild live a true gem! Again the sea state proved too rough for any comfortable landing. Instead we opted for the dingy cruise along the shores in search of the Macaroni Pinguin. It looks a little like the Rock hopper but is slightly larger. They sport a golden crest which is joint in a broad band acros the for head. Some would say they look like little punk rockers. they breed mainly through the Scotian arc making this one of the last opportunities to see them. They dive for krill and squid and some fish. Returning to the colony in October the males start to arrange the nest. Two eggs are laid, one big one and one small one. If the smaller egg hatches it needs a very good summer for the chick to make it to adult hood. Having only one chick to rear makes live just possible for the Macaronies, which are the least adepted of polar Polar pinguins. Sure enough we found the large colony. Their golden crest gave them away. It is named after a foppish wig the Macaroni. Not the famous Italian pasta’s! Although the Leopard seal we spotted looked like he had his fill of Mac’nCheese… Happy to have done the little cruise we set of for Pinguin Island, another South Shetland Island a 100 miles to the south west. No wind but clear skies make for a magical night.

All is well Gijs

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