High and dry

Today we have spent the day in the Lemaire Channel and Port Lockroy basking is sunlight and scenery bathed in one million shades of blue and white. Ice prevented us passing through the final stages of Lemaire but neither the less the sheer cliffs raising on all sides and the ice stretching out in to the horizon is a sight to instill wonder on even the most jaded of souls.

Despite the views though, the highlight of the day was actually related to the general day to day running of the operation here in Antarctica. Today I was driving the zodiac (rubber boat) back to the ship when I noticed one of the other zodiacs looked slightly odd. So … after a brief investigation and a lot of laughing I realized that the driver had managed to drive up onto a block of sea ice to the extent that they were completely high and dry with ice on all sides!

This was a zodiac carrying kayaks, and in order to prevent a long journey towing kayaks through a strong wind they had piled all the kayaks at the front of the zodiac and left the passenger at the back. The problem? You can’t see where you are going. Despite the apparent disadvantage of this mode of travel, they had successfully  maneuvered through a few hundred meters of water before hitting a slab of ice at speed and coming to an abrupt and rather hilarious stop. Literally a boat out of water. Took a lot of effort to drag the zodiac, kayaks and grinning passengers off the ice but I can guarantee they all left with a story that they will be retelling for years to come! Amazing how it’s the misadventures that loom large in the memory.

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