Sunday, 10 November 2019

Shetland Islands (Iceaxe days 5 and 6)

With the next weather system on its way, our ship headed north to shelter in the South Shetland Islands. We woke bearing in to Admiralty Bay on King George Island, and got the zodiacs out to rope up on a beach that was untainted by a single piece of plastic. Whilst it was sunny, the wind soon started to pick up, which made for extremely challenging transitions up high. Marie-Laure was nearly blown to the Falklands. But the snow was terrific and we had another run before back to the boat in what were, by now, pretty challenging conditions.

Our last ski day in Half Moon Bay on Livingstone Island was cancelled as the weather had really come in, and getting the zodiacs out was impossible. We'd had such an amazing run of weather though that there were no bad feelings.

Captain Yuli also felt that if we slipped out early with the stabilisers then we could weather the last of this first storm and make it north across the Drake in time to avoid an even more ferocious system arriving from the northwest. We still managed to witness a Beaufort 9 with winds at 100 knots and 5m swell - enough to drag Andy MacLean and Ode Siivonen up top for some deck surfing.

Cape Horn itself was a bit of a disappointment after the white continent, but it was nice to be back amongst trees.

On the way home we were treated to a spectacular sunset on Aconcagua and the Andes before dropping down in to Santiago for more street fires and tear-gas.

But at least the jacarandas were out, a fitting end to an amazing adventure!

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