December 17, 2008
Kayaking through Peltier Channel to Port Lockroy
Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
Lemaire Channel 65º04’ S 63º57’ W
Cape Renard 65º01’ S 64º48’ W
Peltier Chnnel 64º52’ S 63º34’ W
Neumayer Channel 64º43’ S 63º17’ W
Goudier Island/Jougla Point 64º50’ S 63º30’ W
Damoy Point/Dorian Bay 64º49’ S 63º32’ W
Pleneau Bay and Port Lockroy
Pleneau Bay lies just south of the Lemaire Channel, separating Hovgaard Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. At the northwest end of the bay there is a passage between Hovgaard Island and Booth Island where the Pléneau Island groups can be accessed. Here we can find an iceberg graveyard, where both large tabular icebergs and older, rolled icebergs have run aground. Many of these icebergs have originated from as far south as the Ross Ice Shelf. Port Charcot lies on the north coast of Booth Island (then named Wandel Island). It was discovered by Jean-Baptiste Charcot in 1904 and named for his father. Charcot’s crew spent the winter of 1904 in this location. Their ship, Français, was moored and the men slept onboard but established a shore station for scientific observations and as a potential emergency shelter.
Port Lockroy is a half mile-long and -wide harbor on the west side of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago. It is named after Edouard Lockroy, the French politician who assisted Dr. Jean Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government backing for his expedition French Antarctic Expeditions of 1903-1905 & 1908-1910. Port Lockroy is comprised of Jougla Point and Goudier Island, both of which are home to numerous nesting gentoo penguins.
British history in Antarctica began when Captain James Cook first circumnavigated the continent in 1773-75. UK presence in Antarctica dates back to 1943 when the Royal Navy mounted operation Tabarin. Its mission was to provide reconnaissance and meteorological information concerning the South Atlantic by establishing a series of small stations along the Antarctic Peninsula. Port Lockroy is the home to Base A, which has been turned into a museum. There is also a gift shop and post office on Goudier Island where stamps and souvenirs may be purchased, and mail can be sent, although delivery usually takes a number of weeks. US DOLLARS & POUNDS STERLING accepted. Credit card is accepted for purchases over $100. Port Lockroy is a small space! We will take half of you to Goudier Island and half to Jougla Point. After approximately one hour we will switch groups so that everyone can experience both locations.
Very hard ice conditions, nothing happening until 10AM; cruise through Bismark Strait; later on zodiac cruise.
Kayaking on Channel Peltier all the way to the Port Lockroy and Gudier Island. Good 3 hours of kayaking, zig zag across the channel, at the beginning was great, but later on wind picked up! Spent $200 on shirts, cap, and gifts. Michael and Andy rescued a gentoo penguin from net’s string around his leg.
Instead of a regular dinner we had a BBQ at the top deck. Grilled meat, chicken and beef, and fish for me! Potatoes, salads, hot red wine and cookies. In a second of time everything is cold!
Late night at the bar, Dan and his guitar and songs about Ocean Nova, kayaking and camping.