Alexis - 22nd of October
Yesterday, on the 21st, we arrived in the morning to Trinity Island. We discovered a beautiful landscape. Lots of ice on the Island, glacier running down into the water, dream scenery.
We sailed a bit around the Island and discovered a small house with lots of penguins around. Unfortunately, while we were trying to find the best place to anchor, we touched the ground and the boat was stacked! As it was high tied, we had no way to take the boat out of the water during the afternoon. We decided to stay there for the end of the day and try to take the boat out of that place the following morning with the high tide. In order to secure the boat, we had to make lines run from the boat to the closest island where we could find a rock to moor the boat around.
During the afternoon, we took all the YE from the boat to the Island on the zodiac. We could then go and see the penguins. Fortunately we cross a sea lion with her baby! Amazing how close from them we could go without making them afraid. Of course, we were curious enough to enter into the small house. In it, we found some food, small bottles of wine and newspapers from… 1977.
We came back on the boat in the evening. At that time, Mike decided that, in order to put all the chance on our side for the following morning, we should take all the weight we could out of the boat to make her lighter and have the waterline lower. We then spent all the evening with the guides to offload equipment, using the zodiac to go from the boat to the island. The YE where not involved in this exercise. We took a good sleep and went to sleep, ready to try and move the boat the following morning.
23rd of October
We woke up early, full of hope and optimism to take the boat out of the place where she was grounded. We waited until the tide was high enough to feel the boat rolling a bit, what showed us that we could start to try and move her. At that time we brought all the YE to the Island and only a few people stood on the boat to make the maneuver. Less people on the boat means less weight also! Thanks to the line we had put the previous evening, we started to winch the boat and make it move. After half an hour, we could feel that she wasn’t touching the ground anymore and that she was back in her normal condition, floating on the water. Thanks to the reconnaissance made from the zodiac, we could find the best way to go out from that shallow water. Before mid-day, the boat was out of the water!
A new job was then waiting for us… bringing all the equipment back from the Island. We first took all the YE from the Island back to the boat. As the boat was no more at the same place as the previous evening, we had to find another way to take the equipment back. Using the same way we used with the zodiac to offload the material would have been too long. We then took the sledges to the Island and used them to carry the cases for a small way across the island. Each leg was not too long, but I'm sure that the penguins were quite amazed to see the guys on crossing the island with all this equipment! A great advertisement for them today.
While we were carrying the equipment, the wind started to become a bit stronger and it started to snow. Once we were finished loading the couple of tones of equipment we had on the island, we asked the YE to get ready to go to the glacier. Our plan was to set up a base camp on the ice and spend the night there. Unfortunately, as we were getting ready, the wind was getting stronger. The guides went out and tried to reach the coast with the zodiac. They quickly came back… completely wet! The waves were too high and all the water was coming into the zodiac. Unfortunately we had to decide to cancel our night on the glacier. The wind was not getting weaker at all and the forecasts were not optimistic at all for the night.
Better not to take any risk with the YE and postpone the trip to the following day. But that time not to the Island but to the Peninsula. The YE will then be walking on the Arctic continent tomorrow!
Photos © Dario Ferro