“Hi, I’m Laura, the first mate on Pelagic Australis, and I have been asked to write a few words to keep you updated, as Janey/Rosie and the team attempt to follow Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps across South Georgia. The weather forecast that we get on board is wind only, and implied a lovely calm few days for them to get ashore and make some good progress. We dropped them off this morning however, in much more wind than we expected but all hoped that the forecast would be correct and it would calm down throughout the day.
On board, we waited in the anchorage to be sure that they had everything they needed, and watched them set off across the snow. After a couple of hours, all we could see was a tiny snake of skiers making good progress up the snowy slope to the east. Once we had the all clear on the radio, we set off for the north side of the island, and had to wait till tonight’s 8pm phone call to see how they got on. It was a freezing cold day, with icicles forming on the rigging and the sails and we could only imagine how cold it must have been on the mountain but hoped that everyone had sufficient clothing and equipment to keep them warm. At 8 o’clock, the phone call came through on the Iridium phone. They have made it safely to the Trident Ridge, their first camp for the expedition, and so far, everything was going fine. The only comment we managed to get out of Stephen Venables, the team leader, was ‘it was bloody windy!’ – so much for the forecast!”