Saturday February 17th, 2001

Location

Next to the Ukranian base, in the Argentine Islands

Latitude

65.15S

Longitude

64.15W

Wind

Calm

Sea

Mirror-like

Air temp

5 deg C

Sea temp

0 deg C

Barometer

1000 mbs and steady

Conditions

Perfect

Visibility

Forever


1500 hrs: There is no wind. The sea is like a mirror. The icebergs out in the bay are still. The skuas, nesting on the lichen and thick moss-covered rocks, make a row from time-to-time - the fluffy grey chicks more than their parents. A curious seal put its head onto the black zodiac dinghy, tied alongside, to check us out. There has been a minke whale blowing a few hundred metres further out.

Seamaster is tied to the crumbling rocks of this Antarctic Island by two long stern lines, with the main bow anchor out in front as usual. We are in a deep pool of water, protected against winds from most directions.

The weather maps showed yesterday that a spell of strong north-easterly winds was on the way. But all that has happened so far is that the Antarctic summer has suddenly improved. So much so, that Don has put the cover over the windows of our communications room to keep the sun and the heat out.

Whilst the temperature in the shade on deck is only 5 degrees centigrade, to be able to sit on deck in the sun is a real luxury. We have many of the hatches open to air our ship, something we have not felt able to do in weeks. Today is a day to enjoy just being here with no other pressures.

There are interviews ongoing with Andy and Dan for the documentaries. A kayaking sequence will be shot this afternoon amongst the narrow channels that these islands are divided by.

There is also the old British weather station of Wordie House to visit with the cameras. Don and I idled along in the dinghy, in the still but crisp morning air, and went ashore where the water was deep, right near the front door of this now-protected historical site.

It was like going through a time warp. It was as though the meteorologists had left only yesterday. Old communications equipment, manual typewriters, dog logs (they kept dogs here in the 1950’s) and the daily logs for 1958 and 1959.

That was quite a while ago now, but to read some of the entries made us realise how fortunate we are with our weather right now?