Right Whale Bay

Elsehul was stunning: our next stop at Right Whale Bay is extraordinary. After a foggy start the cloud lifts in the bay leaving dark cloud across the north eastern horizon against which Europa lies at rest on calm water.We land stern first in surge onto a shelving black beach surrounded … Continue reading

Elsehul

The deep inlet of Elsehul, its steep sides coated in tussac grass, was out introduction to the wild, extraordinary beautify of South Georgia. The water is shallow enough for kelp forests to wave in the choppy surface for the fur seals to play in, and home to fish, birds and … Continue reading

Bird Sound: arrival and biosecurity

The archipelago of South Georgia includes the study site of Bird Island, lying just off the north-western tip of the main island. Between them lies a rocky, narrow channel known as Bird sound. The detailed chart shows that the deeper water (the white bits) reduces to a narrow channel between … Continue reading

Easter on passage

It was a great passage to South Georgia. We stood our watches, slept, talked, wrote, took photos. On Saturday we painted Easter eggs in true European style. Sitting here now, in Wales, watching the appallingly low level of debate about the referendum it is a calming reflection. Swedes, Dutch, Germans … Continue reading

The Scotia Sea: talking about kit

From Elephant Island we set out north east across the Scotia Sea. That is the area of the South Atlantic bounded by an arc of islands that make a half-moon from Argentina through the Falklands and South Georgia, down to the South Sandwich Islands and then curve back west to … Continue reading

#AntarcticAlphabet: K is for kelp

Kelp connects everything, from the Orkneys to the South Shetlands. Seafloor to surface, dark to light. Brown, red, ochre, rust within the grey/blue/white of the Antarctic seas. The simplicity of stipe and stem dancing inside the heart-breaking, never-ending complexity of the wave. And of course, almost mundane, the host of lives … Continue reading

The harshness of Point Wild

After leaving Penguin Island at 0230 we had an energetic day sailing close hauled in 3m of swell until eventually the wind headed us completely. It was after dark when we anchored close under the south east side of Elephant Island in preparation for rounding its tip in the morning … Continue reading

Penguin island: supermarket of the South Shetlands

There were several Penguin Islands scattered around the world in the days of sealing and whaling and long distance exploration by sail. The ship would turn up and take away thousands of eggs, and slaughter, salt down and stow hundreds of penguins. Calling a landfall Penguin Island was liking planting … Continue reading