In the south we don’t have days off, but then every day can be dangerous or magical. The rapidity of change in the conditions means that often we experience both. We travel in relative luxury- a 67 feet steel hulled ship with substantial reserves of fuel and equipment on a one month voyage-compared with our new friends from the 40 foot Petit Prince who are nine years into their Odyssey around the world. Frank and Maya from La Trinite sur Mer and Strasbourg left behind careers in the French space industry to pursue a new life afloat. Along the way they were joined by Titouan and Anna , now six and five, voyagers for all of their short lives.The vessel is their transport, home and school. The family have spent the austral summer in Antarctica; soon they will return to Puerto Williams and Ushuaia, where they will winter, skiing, schooling the children and dreaming and planning for the next stage, into the Pacific. We have exchanged home and away evenings aboard our little ships and hope to meet again in Ushuaia, once we have both crossed the 600 hundred miles north across Drake’s Passage and past Cape Horn.
During the day one party from Xplore found and explored the ice cave in the photo; their return they were followed closely by a very hungry Leopard seal! A second party made a further attempt on Hovgaard Mountain, reaching within 100 vertical feet of the summit, before the visibility and driving snow ruled out further progress.
Next, we plan the short journey to Port Charcot, named after the celebrated French Antarctic explorer who mapped this area aboard his ship, the Pourqoi Pas. Stay tuned…