Thursday 1 January 2015

December 31 - New Year's Eve - Base Brown

This morning we were treated to a VERY early landing! Zodiac drivers were up at 3:15 AM and the rest of us at 4:00 AM!  The timing was important because of overlapping usage of the site and the booking of another ship for the afternoon. We had to have our 450 passengers onshore and the visit completed, and the ship gone by 1 PM. Everything went very smoothly, with the first passengers off the ship for an hour zodiac tour at 5 AM. These early birds had the advantage of seeing some humpback whales in close proximity!

The site is very pretty with lots of great views of glaciers all around as well as a nice hill to climb and a sliding slope! No sprained ankles this time around!

This is the Argentinian base "Brown". The top of the hill is 100 m above the base. 

I was on the high point with a great view of the surrounding glaciers. There was one that kept having small failures through the morning. It then had a bit larger avalanche, I raised my camera for a closer look when it failed! Spectacular.

In the afternoon we headed south to the Lemaire Channel. It still had a lot of ice, but we made it through to the other end - 65 degrees 7 minutes would be our farthest point south. The channel is 200 m wide with cliffs close to 900 m on either side, glaciers and we saw several minke whales close to the ship.

View along the channel.

Stranded icebergs in a side channel.

Cape Renard towers over 800 m tall.

We sailed out of the channel through the Neumayer in the evening as everyone began the New Year's Eve festivity.  See the next blog for what Maria and I did!

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