Sun, Tea and filming icebergs
23 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.6'W, Jougla Point, Port Lockroy
Apologies to everyone that it's been a few days since we last updated the blog. Its been rather hectic.
I think we left off with Andrew and Ruth, having spent two whole days sitting out the weather onboard, deciding they were going to head out into the blizzard to prove they were not a fair weather natural history camera team. We patiently waited onboard for a convenient 25kts Ã"lull' then eventually mid afternoon zipped round to Goudier Island. It was around 10pm before there was another suitable lull to pick them up again. Unfortunately the Fram cruise ship saw the same lull to pick Tudor up, to take him home, and so we had to say goodbye. Sniff, sniff. The Fram also dropped off all the cargo for the Lockroy Shop for season. We felt pretty guilty not being able to go ashore again and help the girls unpack, but since by the time they asked us the visibility was so bad we couldn't see the Fram anchored less than a mile away it wasn't really safe zodiac weather. Poor Dave, paced the boat feeling guilty at having left the damsels in distress.
I hope we redeemed ourselves the following morning, when we went over to help with the final push before the next ship came in. It was a stunning day, far too hot for thermal baselayers, especially when you're lugging sledges full of boxes up and down the slopes. Dave seemed to take a little too much pleasure in shouting Ã"Mush, Mush!' at me as I pulled and he pushed.
Dave and I scarpered as the cruise ship pulled up, there were important boat jobs to see to and a date with some deck chairs, a cup of tea and a sunny foredeck. With the Charcot line across the entrance to our little bay, we became not unlike a museum exhibit with a cordon in front of it. The cruise ship zodiacs would come right up to the line and gawk at the crazy yachties drinking tea on deck as they went passed. One passenger even tried to Ã"dob us in' to the film crew, to which Ruth, when told that we were lounging in deck chairs replied, "That sounds about right." Apparently he was rather deflated. In fairness, we did do some actual work when no one was looking.
With a second consecutive beautiful day, we dropped the lines and headed out, I would say at the crack of dawn, but like I mentioned before, there isn't really a dawn so to speak, and so the 5am start didn't seem so bad. The plan for the day was to film the opening sequence as Pelagic arrives in Port Lockroy. Lots of driving round and round the more picturesque icebergs whilst I struggled to keep the dinghy steady for Andrew. I think he got some nice shots in spite of it. It was a lovely day out. For the final shot of the day, we hoisted Andrew to the top of the mast. Having asked the question on tape earlier in the trip, rather mischievously and with not a small amount of innuendo, if I, "liked it up the stick?" (we're still not convinced that comment is Radio 4 friendly) it was now time to turn the tables. Although he spent the first five minutes doing a rather good koala bear impression, Andrew quickly gained some confidence in the bosun's chair and can now confirm that h e does indeed rather like it up the stick after all. Unfortunately I missed most of this, as for continuity sake the dinghy couldn't be in the shot, so I had to pootle off. Rather than drive around in circles, I buried the bow of the dinghy onto an ice floe, stopped the engine and spent a rather nice half hour watching the world go by. Had it not been for the constant sound of lapping water on icebergs combined with an unfortunate need to pee it might even have been the perfect spot for a siesta.