26th March: Antarctica (Pleneau Island)

The wind was so wild overnight, the Polar Pioneer had to motor back and forth along the Penola Strait without being able to stop to anchor.  Around 6:30am we were able to anchor near Pleneau Island.  The elephant’s graveyard is one thing; Pleneau Island is known as the iceberg graveyard  – a giant eddy where the icebergs collect.

I felt a little cheated in a way because after struggling with clothing, 15-20kg of equipment and a dry bag, I was amongst the last to front up and so was on the convalescents’ zodiac which stayed out for a much shorter time than the rest and, for example, did not get to see a leopard seal.  Still, the views of icy seascapes were spectacular enough, as you will see.  For the most part they need little explanation.

Natural iceberg sculpture

Giant ice face

Suspended ice sculpture

Island of ice

Is it a dog or a lion or General De Gaulle?

Ice flake detail on an iceberg, looking up

Ice, texture and light

GPS location (green arrow).

Pockmarked ice gleaming in front of an approaching storm

The ship! The scale! Can you see the ship?

GPS location (Green arrow for the location of the zodiac).

Faces in the ice - and the storm is coming

Views through the ice

Iceberg and mountain

Cloud descending

Iceberg, bergy bit and mountains

Sometime around 1pm, we headed back to Vernadsky.