Adele is on the move, heading straight upwind for 50 miles to Prion Island towards the north-western end of South Georgia. It's early morning and there's ice about...
It’s about 0700 and we’re motoring into a grey, angular sea heading for Prion Island. We were warned last night that the motion might be a little uncomfortable so, please, stay in you bunks. Not likely!
Best place to be in conditions like these is on deck, eye on the horizon, thoughts of last night’s brandy tucked well away and lung-fulls of bracing Antarctic air being administered. Not that Adele’s motion is unpleasant even into 20 knots of true breeze – she has a wonderfully smooth entry and rides over the sea with ease.
There are other things to contend with – ice. Up ahead we spot a large berg hanging off Cape Best and the end of the Fortuna Glacier. As we get closer, brash, growlers and bergy bits start appearing and we have to keep a close eye on it all and throttle back. Hitting even a small one is not to be recommended.
The water has turned to that glacial milky hue. The air temperature is cold but the sun on the freshly snow capped mountains makes for a brilliant scene this morning. It’s as if the European Alps have been sawn off at the tree line and plonked into the Atlantic – absolutely beautiful.
Icing is a possibility in Adele’s rigging but it’s not quite cold enough. Skipper Andre Engblom was amused to read the Admiralty Pilot’s official tactic to avoid icing, simply ‘Head North’. Well, we’re heading north-west and just looking at our approach to Prion and the Bay of Isles where we hope to be able to find enough shelter to anchor and land. We hope also to get ashore at Salisbury Plain to see the second biggest King Penguin colony on South Georgia. The weather, as ever, is looking threatening but in our superyacht cocoon this does not constitute a hardship.