Antarctic Waters

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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Page last updated October 9, 2005.