Port Lockeroy, Wincke Island
Yesterday night passed without surprises, the wind as expected fell completely, letting us enjoy a well-deserved, short rest. In fact, we wake up at 4:00h for frugal breakfast and after which we were ready to sail..
94 miles were waiting for us without a dribble of wind and we had no choice but to face them by motor.
In these cases the dilemma is always the same: one or two engines? With a single engine, in conditions of absolute absence of wind, we can maintain an average of 5 knots of speed at 2,200 rpm, consuming about 5 liters of diesel per hour. Thus, to cover 94 miles, we would have used 19 hours/ 95 liters of fuel.
Using two engines we can instead maintain an average of 6.5 knots at 1800 rpm, consuming about 4 liters / hour per engine, covering the distance in less than 15 hours and consuming about 120 liters.
The second option was less efficient, but it would have allowed me to get to Port Lockroy with sun light, an aspect that for me is of primary importance. So I went fot the twin-engine option.
Today's route has seen us navigate the Strait of Gerlach, a long arm of sea, which connects the Strait of Orleans with the Strait of Bismarck. What fascinating names, I find perfectly marry the austerity of these places. I dare not imagine which names we would have neen given to these areas of the Planet if they had been discovered today.
A lot of ice today on our course, which has not slowed our progress too much. For the most part small blocks adrift, more annoying than dangerous to our navigation, but some were really gigantic. I am not able to quantify the size specifically, but I think that at least 3 or 4 of those encountered far exceed the size of the San Siro stadium.
Many Icebergs in these parts are not only bigger than the one that sank the Titanic, they are not only bigger than the Titanic itself, but they are bigger than the country that built the Titanic. The Iceberg B15, one of those under observation by a research group of the US base Murdock, has a front above the sea level 50 meters high, which means that under the surface it has at least 350 more! The amount of water imprisoned in its ice could feed the Nile for 75 years. And B15 is considered a medium-sized Iceberg !!
Today we have spotted at least three cruise ships in the Strait of Gerlach, all of them heading north. A nice traffic considering that we are at 64 ° Latitude south.
Once we reach the northern end of Wiencke Island, a narrow passage, partially obstructed by an iceberg, allowed us to enter the Neumayer Channel, which separates Wiencke from Anverse Island. The wind, for this time, had left the set and the sea offered its services to yhe black & white peaks and emerald glaciers which continued to speculate in search of the best pose to offer to Valentina's camera.
Once out from this set only 4 miles separated us from Port Lockroy where we anchored at 20:00h.