South of Elephant Island
Day 12: Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
5:00 pm Hope Bay and Esperanza Station
In the early morning, the ms Ryndam left the shelter of Elephant Island to cross Bransfield Strait,
heading into a force 10 storm with heavy swells and overcast skies. Around mid-morning the
weather improved. Around 2:00 pm we could clearly see the ice-covered mountains of
d'Urville Island. Off the island we passed through fleets of stranded icebergs, some over a mile
long. At 4:00 pm we turned into Antarctic Sound between d'Urville Island and the tip of the
Antarctic Peninsula. By 5:00 pm we lay in brilliant sunshine off Hope Bay, overlooking the
Argentine station Esperanza. Shoals of Adelie penguins surrounded us in the water and-half a
dozen sheathbills danced on the deck rails. We stayed at Esperanza Station for two hours and
then returned northward along the sound to Bransfield Strait. Overnight we headed south
down Orleans Channel to Gerlache Strait.
10:16 AM: Petrols Flying Beside Ship
During the night and early morning winds were Force 10 ( about 55 mph ) and waves were 25 feet tall. A notation in the journal indicated that I thought it seemed to be letting up.
At 9:50 AM we were heading southwest (201º on the compass), chugging along at 11.9 mph. Our location was 62º0'S 55º48'W.
10:17 AM: The storm was still raging.
The storm wasn't as bad as it was yesterday, but if these waves don't look big to you, these pictures were taken from our 9th floor balcony on the wind-protected side of the ship.
The Petrols Continued Their Vigilance.
The giant petrols are huge. They would have to be to even show up in the picture.
The Crows Nest Lounge
At 10:30 we decided to see what was happening in the Crows Nest.
As many as could crowd in were there to watch the rough seas and to watch for icebergs from the 12th floor observation lounge.
If you are planning to go,
Nick Travels Antarctica is a recommended site. While he actually made landings in a zodiac, which the Holland America cruise doesn't attempt, Nick's pages can answer many of your questions.
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