R.R.S Ernest Shackleton and Signy Research Station
So that's it, Anto, Me, Vicki and Charlotte are the only passengers on the ship until we get to Signy. I was expecting the journey to take a lot longer, but with the delays in the ice when the ship came in to Halley, the Captain ordered that both engines be put on as we make a quick dash to the Falkland Islands with a brief stop in Signy to pick up two more passengers.
First we had to break through the ice again. Not too much trouble for this ice-strengthened ship; we had 2 days of sailing through glassy waters with a bit of ice in the way. We only had a couple of hard nights sleeping through the noise of ice on hull, the noise from the smallest bergy bit seemed to reverberate around my cabin. I was, as usual, bouncing about the ship not knowing which way to point my (many) cameras, and am pretty chuffed to have seen so many penguins and seals as they slowly realized that the Ship was bigger than them and so they'd better move out the way - fast. It's the number of birds that surprised me. We don't get that many birds at Halley - it's too far away from the sea. But on the ship there's millions and I'm afraid I don't know many of their names... (alright Jeff, how's it going Bert?)
We arrived at Signy after a couple of days of 'finding my sea legs'. Signy Research Station is a small summer-only base. There's a Base Commander, a Generator Mechanic and the rest are Biological Scientists (please write in with corrections). They live in a very small building, but with what seems a lot of storage space spread around the base. The base is surrounded by huge icebergs, towering mountains and glaciers. It's what Antarctica is supposed to look like. Magnificent.
We're now just over 12 hours sail from Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Civilisation here I come!