We were at anchor overnight in Ocean Harbour, a few hundred yards from the melancholy wreck of the Bayard, heeled over as she has been since she was wrecked a hundred years ago. The shore here is seamed red with rusting remains of the fur sealers, including a steam locomotive tipped on one side by some long-ago gale and left to subside into the tussock bogs.
We were ashore soon after breakfast, very much the B-team because Stephen Venables had taken Tom and Gavin to ski-climb a nearby peak. The rest of us climbed a headland up and out of the bay and gazed up at the climbers, tiny black dots zigzagging up what appeared to anxious spectators to be one massive slab waiting to avalanche. We watched and waited until they reached the horizon ridge, seeing them ‘climbing strongly towards the summit’, and then continued our way on down to come out once again at Cumberland Bay, looking across to KEP.
There is a tiny refuge hut used by BAS on the beach. It looked a romantic refuge, furnished with a wooden bunk, a primus stove and some tins of baked beans, and a Tilley lamp swaying overhead. The backdrop of the Neumayer glacier marching down to the sea looked spectacular enough to command the attention for a few stranded days….
Now we are at anchor in tiny, sheltered Cobbler’s Cove. Plancius came up behind us and sent over a dinghy for Skip, who has to move on to his next work commitment. We sent him off with three cheers.
Now we are drinking wine in the saloon and thinking about tomorrow. Macaroni penguins are on offer.