Last updated: Sunday 12th  November 2017   

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Sunday has been a more normal day for us at Bird Island with a swell running and the rain pouring!  Thankfully this has not hampered the relief work and all is now complete and the James Clark Ross is on the short passage to the east to arrive at King Edward Point,  South Georgia,  for 06:00 Monday morning when cargo operations will start once again.

It being wet and miserable out I have decided to remain on board,  in the dry and warm,  which means that the update for today is really a continuation of yesterday with more pictures from my visit ashore.  The first is of the James Clark Ross at anchor in Bird Sound as seen from the shore,  with a few penguins in the frame.

A gentoo penguin chick,  no more than a few days old.  I suspect that today it will be well protected by it's parents and kept warm and dry beneath their feathers.

An adult gentoo on the nest with a newborn chick and an un-hatched egg.

As well as the gentoo penguins on the beach there were also three king penguins.  These three are in the process of moulting and for this they look for a nice quiet spot (not sure that this beach actually counts as quiet) where they will not be disturbed.  During the moult they will not be able to feed and so don't really want to be disturbed in any way.

A gentoo feeding it's chick on the next yesterday afternoon.

The hills on Bird Island are covered in tussock grass and the fur seals do not confine themselves just to the beach but actually can get high up into the hills,  waiting to pounce on anyone passing by!

Back on the base this is the fuel farm,  which was installed some four or five years ago.  Prior to this the fuel for the year was delivered in several hundred 205ltr drums that had to be push up to the back of the base.  Bulk fuelling is a much easier means to keep the base supplied with their fuel needs.  The gas bottles are used for the stove and the base cooking.

A brown skua.  This is a large bird that shows little fear and aside from scavenging for food will take penguin eggs and chicks for a meal.

A male fur seal on the beach,  looking for either a fight or someone to bite!  These animals are best avoided and during the mating season,  which is about to start,  should always be given a wide berth.

By the end of Sunday afternoon the weather had changed and the wind was gusting at over 40kts and the swell had picked up.  Thankfully we had arrived to a good weather window and had completed all the tasks that required the cargo tender.  The final uplift of passengers was carried out using the Humber inflatable boats,  which are much easier to launch and recover in poor conditions.  However,  the ride will be a wet one for all travelling in them.

On departure from Bird Island,  just before dinner,  the conditions outside of Bird Sound were not very good,  with a rather lumpy sea and it looks like it might be a bit of a lumpy passage to King Edward Point.

Noon Position Report Sunday 12th November 2017 

Latitude: 53 09.9 S
Longitude: 038 05.9 W
Bearing: 184 T, 1 Nm from Bird Island

 

Previous updates from the current trip.

Previous updates from my last  trip,  to the Arctic in the summer of 2017

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com