Boat trip

Day #3 in Antarctica ·

The working week at Rothera runs from Monday morning to lunchtime Saturday, with the weekend beginning after Saturday lunch. If the weather’s good, some form of outdoor trip is organised by the folks on base.

This Saturday, a signup sheet for a boat ride went up on the whiteboard in the mess at morning smoko1. I needed no further encouragement, and after lunch and donning a survival suit, I had my first Antarctic boating experience.

The weather was perfect – a so-called “dingle day”2 – and we left Biscoe wharf in two rhibs, making our way through the broken sea ice and icebergs, towards Anchorage island. Crabeater seals were lazing around on the ice and Antarctic Terns were in abundance – all in all, a great introduction to the marine environment at Rothera.

  • Crabeater seal flickr
    A crabeater seal rests on sea ice near Rothera point.
  • Crabeater seal on ice flickr
    A crabeater seal rests on sea ice near Rothera point.
  • Floating ice cave flickr
    We drifted past an intricately shaped berg with an intriguing cave.
  • Drifting amongst the sea ice flickr
  • Tern takes off flickr
    An antarctic tern takes flight from a solitary fragment of
  • The other boat flickr
    We boated in two rhibs - here's the other boat.
  • The BC flickr
    Matt Brown skippers one of the boats.
  • Speeding off flickr
    Powered by two big marine diesels, the boats have some welly.
  • Antarctic terns mating flickr
  • On the boat flickr
    Rose, the current Rothera doc, took this shot of me whilst we were out on the boat.
  1. BAS terminology for morning coffee break. 

  2. I’m still getting used to various BAS phrases, much of it stems from BAS’ naval origins.