I have been talking about the word "landing" all these days in the stories. A "landing" is nothing more than a landing. I will explain how we do it, for example, today ...
Normally at 6:30 the "Good morning" sounds, which tells us that at 7'00 we can go to have breakfast. Today, as last night there was barbecue and mini-party until late, they have delayed it at 7:30.
They also remind us of the time of the first "landing". Today, for example, as the ship has woken up as a "Christmas tree" we are going to change the planned order and go first to Curverville Island. 30 min before (because they are needed) we go to the room and start what I have called "Onion Operation". Thermal socks, thermal pants, thermal shirt and thermal gloves make up the first layer. The rest to the taste of the consumer. I usually wear a fat sock and a polar boot that wears another kind of inner sock, all covered with a water gaiter. Above a double bottom ski pants. The first one I put under the boot to make it more waterproof, and the second above all. Above, a long T-shirt, a sweatshirt and finally a windproof chamber lined with goretex. Also some ski gloves on top of the previous ones, a kind of "panties" for the neck and a hat with or without cover. No, I have not finished. We still have to put on the sunscreen, put on the sunglasses with UV protection, put on a life jacket from Molchanov and take the backpack with the cameras. As you can see, the 30 minutes takes them.
From there, they announce that the zodiak are prepared. We give the return to the assigned number to set "OFF" and know that we are outside, we wash our boots (both before and after the "landing") and descend in groups of 10 people to the boat.
Normally they usually look for a fairly dry place to disembark, but there are sometimes, like today, that you can't, and put your boots up to your ankle or more in the icy water. They say that if you fall into the water you could only live 1 minute and a half before you die of cardiac arrest. The images of the Titanic come to mind. Better not to think about it, hehe
Thursday, December 10
11'48, Cuverville Island
At 62º 37 'W, 64º 40' S
In the Curverville Island, the only landing place is the North beach. The rest of the perimeter is completely blocked by huge cliffs.
Again, it is a show at this time of year, in summer, see "nest" the "Juanitos" or Gentoo penguins. And here is one of the largest colonies in all of Antarctica.
Curverville Island has two thirds of the land covered by a permanent glacier cap and the movements are very limited, since there are many closed areas to safeguard the life of the true protagonists. However, we will use snowshoes so as not to sink.
It is already my 16th day of travel, and I can't help but be amazed as in such a desolate environment, walking on the ice, between glaciers and infinite whites, the most exotic and dazzling life on the planet can overcome, which silently opens up path.
We spent a couple of pleasant hours, time is something better than yesterday. Again, back to Molchanov
Thursday, December 10
17'16, Spigot Peak, Orne Harbor
At 62º 33 'W, 64º 37' S
It still amazes me how the weather conditions change in this "underworld."
We have eaten, and without leaving time for the "nap" (which has already become a custom in the Molchanov), Rolf announces that whoever wants can be encouraged to a good hike to the peak of Spigot Peak, in One Harborwhere we have anchored
What I have no doubt, is that this adventure in which I ended up embarking, is not a normal expedition ... If we have already done walks, landing, sighted whales, penguins, birds, seals, sea lions, visits in zodiak ... now it's time to play! ! UPLOAD PEAKS !!!
Family and company, as in yesterday's story I hit you with a scare, today I am going to tell you good news. Although since summer I do not do too much sport, I feel much better than I expected ... come on, that! I AM GREAT !! ... The other day in Deception Island I found myself very well, but I did not put anything because it was a fairly simple walk and moderately hard, but today I feel especially proud. Not everyone points to this climb, half of the ship decides that after the meal, it is not time to climb peaks. Manel is not encouraged. Angela, of course, doesn't force her leg on a climb like this. Josep points to a bombing and is the first to get on the boat. I go on the third boat. I disembark and set the pace up ... there, again surprised, we see again at considerable heights, at chinstraps or chinstraps penguins or as I call them, the "climbers".
The views of the bay are really beautiful. In addition, the sun has come to meet us.
At a time of the climb, Christian, who is the one who guides the group, not very convinced, makes the decision to turn around. A gray sky, accompanied by a blizzard of snow is approaching us and can bring us a very dangerous descent. Right now, almost touching the top, a few meters away, I find myself next to him and a boy from Israel. The 3 very ahead of the rest! (and that I came in the 3rd boat). Come on, I've surprised myself, so I had to tell you. That does not mean that as you write these lines you are ... VERY VERY TIRED, hehehe
But if I was surprised, what to tell you about a 79 year old lady, which reminds me of Grandma Maria, the "grandmother cotter" (a big kiss for her and Vale, who know that they read me every day), !!! UP TO MORE THAN HALF !!! You had to see it. What strength of will! She is the oldest of the ship and she turns us all around in enthusiasm and courage. Of course, the views deserved it
The return to Professor Molchanov has been very very complicated. Giant waves made the zodiak supported on the stairs make ups and downs of 3 and 4 meters. Particularly I have not had too much trouble, but one of the people who came in my boat has had a bad time and has even had a small anxiety crisis for a moment, until his wife and the two Russians who help have always come up and down. They have attended and uploaded. One more anecdote.
Thursday, December 10
22:16, Danco Island
At 62º 36 'W, 64º 43' S
With dinner in the body (today Cordon Blue), we observe that the ship has already been anchored in front of Danco Island. Even Josep and Angela, in their time of "smoking room" (the floor above the board, in the open, hehe) have seen an iceberg literally disintegrate, causing small waves and a subsequent immersion of the remaining piece.
Has begun to return to snow heavily. We have been seeing the true Antarctic for two days. That in which the conditions become more raw and inhospitable, as in all the stories, stories and movies that we have seen before or that image that we all always have in our retina. This means that a large part of the Molchanov expedition members do not want to make this exit. We got just 2 boats, about 20 people. Angela, Josep and Manel don't cheer up this time.
With these conditions, the rackets (like the morning) become indispensable. Christian pulls the group up the mountain. We have proposed to complete the hill of Danco Island, again surrounded by a multitude of penguin nests and nice scenes of "penguin down the hill" due to the great inclination,
I'm tired, I'm not going to cheat you, although I crown the top almost with the last forces of the day.
While the rest of my classmates go up, I decide to go down just a little earlier and sit down to observe my surroundings. For a few minutes, the silence is almost complete, interrupted by some clueless penguin. I feel the loneliness of an immense desert, the white desert. Suddenly, a huge rumble squirms in the distance, so far that I can't reach it with sight. Other smaller ones follow. They are large icebergs cracking on the water. I feel fortunate to be able to observe a nature so different from what we know. Even the sun seems to have not wanted to miss the moment. It doesn't snow anymore. The day ends for me today. Tomorrow will be another day
Isaac from Antarctic waters (Antarctica)