Alpine uplands above Maiviken

Maiviken Cove was our next stop.  We headed there only after leaving our anchor behind in the foul ground of Stromness Harbour. Heroic efforts to free it had begun at first light, although the beautiful sunrise was largely unappreciated by the hard-working crew. In the end the chain was pulled … Continue reading

Paulet Island: death on the beach

    Paulet sits at 63.3° south on the eastern edge of the Joinville Island archipelago scattered off the northern tip if the Peninsula, shadowed from the setting sun by the bulk of Dundee Island. Europa crackled with ice, the feathers beautiful against a sheer blue sky in the early … Continue reading

Hope and fossils

Hope Bay is a deep indentation on the northern end of the Peninsula’s finger. By the standards of the region, it is sheltered, a strip of land between the mountains and the sea. The area has a long history in the annals of Antarctic science and exploration.  Here three men from … Continue reading

Making places in Antarctica: history, science, and territories

I’ve commented before that so many human-made places in the far South are ugly buildings sitting in magnificent landscapes. We called at Esperanza station in Hope Bay, on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula: it’s a busy research base and a stamp of Argentina’s territorial claims, a scatter of red corrugated … Continue reading

The invisible Swedes: determination, survival and good timing

The northern part of the Weddell Sea is called the Erebus and Terror Gulf. Over a decade before Shackleton came here in Endurance, it earned the second part of its name. Otto Nordenskjold was a Swede (and Finnish too). Inspired by the discoveries of the south he put together a … Continue reading