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Antarctica: The Expedition, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage, Halfmoon Island, Rocas Hydrurga with Cuverville Island, Palmer Station with Lemaire Channel & Petermann Island, Brown Station with Neko Harbor, Brown Bluff with Esperanza Station, Whalers Bay with Yankee Harbor, Drake Passage
Antarctica Expedition - Day 7:
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Friday, January 15th
Lat. 63º 32' S, Long. 56º 55' (third continental landing!!!)
Esperanza Station, Hope Bay
Lat. 63º 23' S, Long. 57º 0' W (fourth continental landing!!!!)
Morning Temp.: 3ºC
Winds: 14 knots ENE
Evening Temp.: 0ºC
Winds: 0 knots
It had snowed last night. The visibility was very poor. And the weather condition was bad. We had to wait till the early afternoon for our last day of adventure on the Antarctic Peninsula. After lunch we made our landing on Brown Bluff. The location had a gorgeous ice-capped, flat topped 745 meter high mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown colour. For a moment it reminded me of forts in Rajasthan, India. The cliff is part of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group on the north face and is home to thousands of Adelie and Gentoo penguins as also to Kelp gulls, Skuas, Snow and Pintado petrels. To my amazement, a huge Weddell seal came out of the waters and gradually inched his way up the little beach and on to the snow. Pausing for breath, the fat guy took at least 30 minutes to travel the distance of 20 feet or so!
Late in the afternoon, our second landing for the day was on the Argentinean Station called Esperanza which means "hope". Hope Bay is a 3-mile-long, 2-mile-wide bay indenting the NE tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, and opening onto Antarctic Sound. It was discovered by Nordenskjöld's Swedish Antarctic explorers Andersson, Duse and Grunden. The remains of their restored hut are near the boat jetty.
The ground surface leading to the hut consists of fragmented slate. The Argentine Esperanza Station occupies a gently sloping area beyond the hut, and near to the end of Hope Bay. Behind the station the ground surface rises to an extensive plateau and lake. The peak above and behind the Argentine station exhibits a well-developed cirque in its center with a small glacier extending down the slope toward the station. The stone hut of the Swedish Expedition built in January 1903 has been designated an Antarctic Historic Site. The crew on the station showed us around and invited us to join for coffee and cookies. A little post office allowed us to send some postcards back home. My passport was officially stamped - a proof of my landing on the Antarctic Continent. I made 4 landings on the Antarctic Peninsula - one each at Brown Station, Neko Harbour, Brown Bluff and Esperenza Station!
Remember to carry your mobile phones with you for this landing. Esperanza Station has a mobile tower. I could see the crew and some passengers using their phones frantically.
Today we experienced the unpredictable Antarctica weather. Snow in the morning, cloudy & windy in the early afternoon, sunshine in late afternoon and a clear still sky in the evening.
The South Pole is 1,235 km from the closest coastline, and is situated high on the polar plateau (height 2,800 m). Out there it may be as cold as -75°C, but the world's lowest recorded temperature was -89°C logged at an even more remote site: Russian Vostok Station.
Brown Bluff Image Gallery Photo viewer
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