Travels

Port Yankee and Greenwich Island

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I remembered tonight everything that has brought me to Antarctica. I was thinking about my need for loneliness, of spending a few days with myself, of my search for goals. If you have read the "flashback" trip, before the conclusions of the trip you will know that all this had an unexpected turn along the way. That now my trip had turned into a fulfill a dream, an old and difficult dream

... we disembarked in Bellingshausen, a Russian scientific base, which shares a site with several German scientists and with the Chilean base. Although in the bases the expedition ships need to request the "landing" with 7 days in advance, the good relationship of the members of Molchanov (after all Russian) and the improvisation of our route has caused us to have no problems for the landing. In fact, the Chilean base also gave us that opportunity.


The site bay is a real pimp. Even so, it seems incredible how they can survive in extreme conditions throughout the year. It is something that my head has a hard time assimilating.

Almost next to the boat, I see my first elephant seal. It is female. It is distinguished from wolves and lions that, although being of the same species, their nose is more similar to that of elephants, and they have hair of different color and texture.




Today Manel seems taken from a comic. The smile from ear to ear indicates that today we have a hard day, which he likes. It is like that. Upon landing we put on snowshoes. We go to the other side of the small peninsula that forms this part of King George Island. It is a walk of just 2 hours, but animated with the intense snow that is falling and with the possibilities that a blizzard begins. Josep and I are encouraged to everything. Angela today has decided to wait for us at the base so as not to force her leg.




It's the first time I walk with snow rackets, but it is a joy. You don't sink, you glide smoothly and move forward with long steps. Some member of the intrepid adventurers who have decided to trekking has chosen not to use it ... Today if you are going to consume calories. Step by step it sinks deeper into the snow ...



Arriving at the coast we meet a nice "Juanito", adapted name that Gentoo Penguins receive. He is alone. He sees us, looks at us, turns around, turns again, looks back at us. It shows undecided. Confused. As if he didn't expect "such wildlife" in this part of the coast where he lives. And it is that this part of the coast, with the black sky, is quite gloomy, as if taken from the darkest images of movies like "The Thing" of Carpenter.




Near the end, and being careful not to fall into the water, they rest several lions and sea lions. Even a sea bear, the first one I ever see. Our friendly friend avoids them (he would not do the same if they were leopard seals) until he reached the water. I enter? I do not enter? I wouldn't take him to make decisions at work ...




Dismal?


Already back at the base we see many curious things, from a signal that puts the km up to Salamanca, up to an orthodox church with imitation of dome of tsars. We can even seal the passport of our passage there ...




Of the best experiences ...



Monday, December 7
20'31, Port Yankee, Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands
At 59º 48 'W, 62º 31' S

There are times that not all the words in the world are enough to describe something. This happens to me right now. Port yankee It is a true natural spectacle without limits ...


In our improvised course through Antarctic waters, without being planned early in the morning, and after analyzing the possibility of entering with the ship, we have ended up in a beautiful Greenwich Island Bay. I don't know how to start, I don't even know if I try ... Port Yankee is like a kind of naturally protected bay / dike. Possibly what makes it such a special place are the high snowy mountains that surround it, the beautiful icebergs of different blue tones that float in its waters, the gentoo and adelie penguins that inhabit it and the feeling of isolation that it transmits, that silence intense.




You walk, and the ice creaks under your feet. To one side ... penguins, to the other ... wolves and sea lions. It's hard to choose.




Walking on the beach is a joy. Penguins are seen diving, while wolves and lions sleep. In the background, the sun says goodbye. Shines The icebergs shapes, capricious, sculptural, they remain in bluish and intense colors, with beautiful textures.







The hardest moment is when they pick us up again. There are Angela and Josep waiting for me. They have been watching the mountains, the sea and the Molchanov for a while, a beautiful postcard of Port Yankee, next to the wolves.




Goodbye Port Yankee



Monday, December 7
22'09, Half Moon, Livigston Island, South Shetland Islands
At 59º 55 'W, 62º 35' S

The adrenaline hardly gives time to go down, when after a quick dinner they tell us that we are already in Half moon. We will not miss any opportunity in the day.


Half Moon is famous for having one of the largest colonies of Chinstraps or Chinstraps Penguins, which I will call "Climbing Penguin". And is that this penguin, just 65 or 70 cm, is just as funny as the others and climbs up the mountains and lives on the rocks. A whole character



We have walked a lot, and here we will not do great walks. We climb the hill, observe, shoot our cameras and stretch our legs for the last time in the day.

The name of this small islet is given because it is formed by two rocky mounds joined by a piece of land with beach edges. The sun is almost hidden and the colors have changed again. They change in a few moments. Saving distances, they say that Antarctica is the only place where you can really have the 4 seasons of the year in a couple of hours.



Now, as I write my last sentences of the day, already back to Molchanov, Angela sleeps, she deserves it. Your challenge is fulfilled with more than success. Manel reads in bed, I'm sure with the same smile that started the day. Josep comes looking for me. While the Molchanov will spend the night anchored in Half Moon, a beautiful red sun is sensed between the mountains. Here I leave you, contemplative, watching ... Josep is a whole box of surprises. Day by day I discover it. It is one of those people that is worth meeting sometime in life


Isaac from Antarctic waters (Antarctica)

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