Tuesday, February 9, 2010
BERGS TO THE RIGHT OF US, BERGS TO THE LEFT OF US, BERGS ALL AROUND …
This morning, we traveled Southwest down the Gerlache Strait, islands to the North, the Antarctic Peninsula to the South. We began our sail early this morning at South 64 degrees, 4.616 minutes Latitude, and West 61 degrees, 52.81 minutes Longitude. In all directions there were snowy cliffs and rock, breath-taking cloud formations, bergs on every side. In the early hours, the ocean was black. You can only imagine the early mariners in ships no larger than the small tender that took us ashore in the Falklands coming south down this strait, not knowing what to expect, having mariner’s tools, but nothing like we have today, watching this land of wonder unfold, taking measurements, risking that they might become encased in ice and not return, and yet they pressed on.
We had sun and patches of blue sky that broke through the shades of black and white.
The cliffs that breed bergs are more obvious here, and the rocks beneath appear riven from the separation of berg from glacier and cliff.
The shapes of these bergs, like the lines and incidents of a human face, tell you something of the history and character of these bergs and bergy bits.
We saw seals on the bergs, rare birds that sailed almost motionless above on wind currents in silouhette waiting for the right moment to fish.