It has been coming long but than it was still quite sudden! We had been preparing for weeks and yet when the ship was there, so much was still to pack, finish up and prepare (well, at least my personal stuff …). As usual the ship was unloaded during relief and loaded with rubbish and cargo to go back north. I managed to miss most of the food move and so on as I was ill in bed for a couple of days - the lurgy that was going around base had finally gotten to me.
The evening before we left, we went around base as tradition demands and played tricks on the new winterers. Than, finally, the morning of the 2nd of April came around, we said our goodbyes at 8 in the morning and went aboard the Ernest Shackleton to commence our journey home. As usual the winterers fired flares to wish their goodbyes but luckily missed the ship. However, for me it was rather unusual to be on the ship this time and not amongst fellow winterers on the shore. It was very sad to say goodbye to a place that I have been calling home for the last 2 1/2 years. Equally though it is exciting to leave for new adventures such as my planned travels through South America.
We had a fairly quiet journey. The weather was good enough to sail through the Lemaire Channel which was absolutely beautiful with whales and penguins everywhere. On the way we picked up an American glider which was rather exciting as it was quite rough - the crew managed to get in on board though. That was probably the roughest day we had. Seeing as no one was actually sick, it was not all that bad. It was my rooms turn to be on “gash” that day (washing dished and cleaning the ship) which was rather exciting. When we got closer to the Falkland Islands we saw some dolphins (first time in my life - now I believe in them as well!). On the morning of the 7th of April we got into Stanley.
Adventures to Penguinland are over for now but there is much more beyond!
|CTD line going through the Bonner - just a little bit!|
The winterers firing flares ... Bye bye!
Lemaire Channel on the horizon.
Recovering the glider