Friday January 19th, 2001

Location

Half Moon Island

Latitude

62.35S

Longitude

59.54W

Conditions

Damp with drizzle

Wind

Calm

Sea

Calm

Air temp

5 deg C

Sea temp

2 deg C

Barometer

990 mbs and falling


1330 hrs: A foggy morning after a rolling night at anchor. A south-east chop came into the bay yesterday evening and with the light wind at right angles to the chop, the night was anything but smooth. We thought of moving to Yankee Harbour only a few miles away, but with the onset of the chop came continuous drizzle and low cloud that clung to the surface of the sea so we stayed put. The entrance to Yankee Harbour is less than 100 metres wide through a gap in the old glacial moraine that stretches right across the mouth of the bay, and would have required following the dinghy in with its depth sounder giving us forewarning of the rocks that would be difficult to see in the failing light.

This morning the fog is thicker and the wind almost gone. We can’t see the shore even though it is very close. The chin-straps haven’t missed a beat, however, and have remained raucous throughout. They are a good homing signal if out in the dinghy and not sure where is where.

The divers have been practising with the DPV’s, it takes a long time to get suited for these frigid waters and know you are going to be reasonably comfortable throughout the dive. Today, with visibility very poor, the homing beacons were put into action and worked perfectly - giving each diver direction and distance from the master beacon carried in the dinghy. In yesterday’s dive on an ice floe, Marc and Will (14 years old) took their DPV’s through a tunnel in the ice and up onto a turquoise-blue ice “beach” right inside the floe where a startled penguin made its feelings known.

Ollie has been quite affected by his short time here - but positively affected.
He asked if he could put down his feelings for The Log. I feel that what he says epitomises the thoughts of everyone else in the crew.

“WAKING UP TO ANTARCTICA - SENSORY OVERDRIVE

One would like to be a humungous sponge right now so that I can absorb further all that I see, I smell, I hear, I sense and I feel.

The body is in overdrive trying to soak it all in, perhaps something like a pincushion, all the pins jabbing you with all the different amazing sights and encounters…"