Wednesday, March 23, 2011


11 March 2011


The views as we sailed along the Gerlacht Strait was just stunning!!!

As it was Lithuania’s regaining of Independence Day the Lithuanian flag was raised on the ship.

It was very cold but we all ventured out on the deck to take in the views.

Icebergs floated past as we sailed towards Dunco Island along the Errera Chanel whilst snow flakes fell. Luckily there was no wind.

Dunco Island was named after an officer who died of a heart attack whilst wintering in Antartica.

We saw a leopard seal

and what I thought we were told was a Weadell seal.  Because many of them are molting it is difficult to identify them.

We were all just soaking up the experience.

It was overcast in the morning and then started to snow.

Luckily for us there was still no wind.  This is very unusual in Antarctica.  So the water is nice and calm.

In the afternoon whilst the rest of the party visited Port Lockeroy historical site our group headed off around to the other side of the island in zodiacs to make 'history'.

We held a slalom race on the side of the hill. The organisers believe it is the first slalom race held in the Antarctic.  It was definitely the first lithuanian race in Antarctica.  There have been other lithuanians here before raising the lithuanian flag but this was the biggest contingent of lithuanians at any one time in Antarctica.

We arrived carrying skis and boots and were greeted by the local penguins.

The disembarkation process from the zodiacs was rather complicated as we had to unload the skis and stocks as well as the boots.

One penguin was very inquisitative and after inspecting the skis

decided to watch the racing from different vantage points.

Those racing had to find a rock to sit on to change into their ski boots. Then a crew member who was a ski instructor during winter checked out the site to make sure it was safe - no crevices, no chance of entering the water.

The site was close to an Argentinian base that was already closed for the winter.

It was snowing quite heavily.

The race poles were set up and up they walked with their skis for the race of their life.

Although there were a few falls no one injured themselves much to the relief of the ship's crew.

The snow was good, visibility poor, but fun was had by all.

After dinner we had a medal presentation. Everyone present was presented with a commeorative medal and pennant.  The mood was great.

As we couldn’t partake of our own liquor in the public areas we retired to a large cabin to continue the festivites. We started to sing and song after song followed as we remembered old songs.

A great day and a wonderful evening.

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