Latest from Crown Bay
The following update was sent to Operations HQ late last night by Anton Bowring, but due to poor comms on the ship only arrived this morning:
“We arrived in Crown Bay at about 3pm. We ended up spending most of the afternoon and early evening trying to find out where we can berth. There is a lot of broken bay-ice which is in-penetrable for this ship. So we have decided to lie off until tomorrow. we are now at rest… in the lee of a big tabular iceberg.
The plan tomorrow is to possibly look again at the most likely unloading place. But we may just wait until Alain Hubert, from the Belgian base, Princess Elizabeth, with two colleagues, three tracked vehicles and nine Lehmann sledges arrives tomorrow (Monday) evening. They are setting out at 4am on a 200 km drive to get to the coast in order to help us unload. They know Crown Bay very well and have indicated that there is a good place to lie alongside a 5 meter ice cliff at the head of the bay.
The weather is quiet and calm and although it is only about -1C it feels pretty cold just now. It is almost midnight and still quite light outside but very grey. I think the forecast is good for a few days.
Tomorrow, I’ll try and send you a map or aerial view of the coast here so you can get an idea of the layout. It is quite confusing and is certainly a lot different to our berths in London and Cape Town!
It is a relief to have got here so easily. The Captain and crew have been wonderful and very well prepared. However, the next stage might be difficult. It is an inhospitable coastline with very high ice cliffs, some with very evident cracks, fissures and crevasses. We shall have to choose our resting place with care – if we can get through the bay ice which is littering our route. However, it may be difficult to reach the 5 meter berth. Elsewhere the cliffs seem to be too high for our crane. If we fail to get through, we shall have to look further afield down the coast.”