Antarctica Adventures: Nightmare on Neumayer

Antarctica Adventures: Nightmare on Neumayer

Date – 9th November 2010

Time – Evening

Position – 64o 47′ S/ 63o 30′ W

Geographic Location – Entrance to Neumayer Channel

Weather Conditions – Misty, Foggy, Icy

Wind – Minimal

After the action packed day which saw us cruise round Foyn Harbour with sunshine on the icebergs and then march to the peak of Cuverville Island, blizzard type conditions were to hit the boat, and suddenly we were experiencing the real Antarctica.

Ice, snow, wind and cold.

We all enjoyed the magic of it and were unfazed by the conditions as our ship entered the Neumayer Channel. The following day we had planned to head much farther south most likely to Pleneau Island, Petermann Island and possibly to the Vernadski Research Station (the Ukrainian one – the only place in Antarctica which produces and sells it’s own alcohol I’ll have you know).

While cruising round the Antarctic, as mentioned before not all landings are possible and “everything is in the hands of mother nature”, which often means forfeiting scenery for safety. You could hardly see beyond the boat that evening.

I got some great photos and view from my time out on deck though.

But the defining moment of this evening was perhaps the “mad three”, which was Russell, Mike and myself enjoying a cold beer out on deck in the real icy cold conditions. Of course we come from Australia, Canada and Northern Ireland.

And we all know that Aussies love to wear shorts and sandals all year round, regardless of the weather, Canadians experience some of the coldest climates on earth and the Northern Irish are thankful to have a day without rain.

So the three of us braved the cold and sat on deck for a wee while with our beers, without coats or gloves, or thermals. Probably the defining Antarctica photo.

As the boat decided to anchor for a while to see if conditions cleared, we sat in the Polar Bear Bar on board and watched Ramon the musician. We weren’t really big fans and he was the only musician on board. He couldn’t speak English and never sang, so his genius (whatever it was) was lost on me.

This gave me inspiration to begin to construct my own “ANTARCTICA SOUNDTRACK” which would become a double LP over the next few days.

Dinner that night had again been excellent. Mexican wrap for starters. Then Aspargus soup. 

A main of Spaghetti Carbonara. A double dessert of chocolate ice cream and custard cake. Followed by the obvious cup of tea.

It was still misty when I finally succumbed to my cabin for my night’s sleep, hoping in the morning the weather would clear and yet more Antarctic memories would be iced into my heated memory.

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