Today’s song: Waves become wings, This Mortal Coil

JCR_200_88 JCR_200_87 JCR_200_89 JCR_200_91 JCR_200_90 JCR_200_92Yesterday the ship planned to go to Rosita harbour (the natural kind not with buildings and such) in the Bay of Isles at the North side of South Georgia in order to perform some acoustic calibrations. However the spot was already taken by a vessel from the Falklands fisheries department. As such we had to steam further east towards the nearest suitable location. As we arrived under the cover night we could not see much of this new location. Over the night Pete Sophie and Garaint were busy doing all the calibration work: trying to find a working CTD (in the end they had to use the one on the RMT25 net) and dangling little brass balls under the ship echo sounders using some high-tech fishing rods.  At that time most other people on the ship were getting a quit night of sleep. At the crack of dawn I got in order to see this place not only for the beauty of this bay but also for it’s history: Stromness bay. This bay is composed of three smaller ones and in each of them are the ruins of deserted whaling stations. Each of them still remains as a crumbling and rusting reminder of this past. From a distance it look as if people could be coming out of the buildings any time.  A closer look reveals rotting planks, rusty beams and animals wandering around.
The middle one where we were anchored is of particular interest. It was at this station that on May 20th 1916 two small boys were startled by the sight of three weather beaten men in search for the manager’s house.  These three men not only travelled across a blank spot on the map of South Georgia, facing the mountainous backbone of island with only 50 meters of rope an axe to share between them, but had traveled much greater distances before. They had endured one of the most heroic tales of the Antarctic: Shackleton’s Endurance expedition. It is said that in the manager’s house, the white building at the left of the base a dark ring is still visible on the bathtub as a result of Schakleton taking his bath there.  As the day crew started their shift we lifted anchor from the marvelous bay but not after making a detour to the adjoining bay were the Leath waling station is located. After that we set towards the open sea again, with only one mooring left to do and then…homeward bound.