We've just dropped the pick in 55m in a nasty snowstorm in Godthul, a deep inlet on the north-east coast of the Barff Peninsula which lies almost due east of Grytviken
We spent the morning at anchor in Prince Olav Harbour at the head of which lay another disused whaling station. It’s in such a dangerous state and riddled with so much asbestos that landing is forbidden so we took both tenders into what is known as Elephant Lagoon on the southern side of the bay.
The attraction inside this inlet, reached through a narrow, shallow neck of water, is a large population of fur seal who make the water ‘boil’ with their antics, such is the density of their numbers. Inquisitive to the point of looking as though they’d feed from your hand, they once again had the shutter buttons going white hot, quite the opposite of the weather which has turned distinctly cold as the wind rockets out of the west-south-west, very much a cold sector in this country.
Clouds of sleety snow whirl and tumble down the face of the surrounding hill in Prince Olav on our return. This afternoon we managed to set some sail – well a yankee with a couple of rolls – as we retraced our steps gently east along the coast. With gusts of 35 knots it wasn’t worth any more sail but it was enough to give us 9 knots and we arrived in Godthul after tea.
Reindeer have been spotted for the first time here plus an albatross nest. Tomorrow we’ll be going ashore at Cobblers Cove which from an aerial perspective is similar in a way to Lulworth back in Dorset. There’s a chance we’ll be able to get Adele in there with a lines ashore – it would make a great shot.
The day after tomorrow we’ll be heading north for Brazil and while the prospect of arrival there is appealing, the thought of leaving this extra special place, which in a way we are only just beginning to get to know, forces one to reflect. Dining, however, pushes thoughts of departure aside. Shoe collections (triggered by the fact we are moored close to Cobblers Cove) and what a man’s choice of socks says about him are topics which prompt some interesting revelations. Have we been aboard too long?
The ladies retire to watch Jack Nicholson in – appropriately – Something’s Got to Give while the men accept something from Jan-Eric’s spirit decanters and gossip about things yachty. You wouldn’t know it snowing and blowing 30 ‘outside’…