11 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.8'W, Half a mile from Port Lockroy
I am writing this from an eerily quiet Pelagic. All you can hear is the sounds of ice melting and bubbling away outside the hull, the occasional bump as a piece dislodges and makes it way down the side of the hull, and the dulcet tones of penguins coming back from fishing. Andrew and Ruth are ashore, busy as beavers. Today is not the first day of filming either. Working down here is not as easy as simply stepping off the boat with a Peli-case, setting up the camera and pressing record though. With Pelagic still beset in ice Andrew and Ruth, led by Tudor, had to perform the tricky traverse across the pack ice on snow shoes, how to get the film equipment ashore was another challenge though. Not wanting to carry heavy camera equipment across the ice of varying thicknesses, Tudor and Dave spent a fun afternoon banging stakes into the snow ashore and setting up a zip-wire running from the boom across to the shore. It works surprisingly well, however despite Ruth's insistence that she would be happy to try it out, we stuck to luggage on the zip-wire and people on snow shoes. The breeze has finally come North and so temperatures are noticeably warmer, yesterday the mercury even rose above 0"C. The sun was out, and during the morning there was almost no wind. Dave and I sunbathed on the foredeck in our picnic chairs (a wise investment made in Stanley, paid for themselves by now) drinking tea, watching penguins, putting the world to rights, and trying not to ruin Andrew and Ruth's shots. It's a tough life... Although today is not sunbathing weather, grey and a bit blustery, the northerlies continue and so everything around us melting away. No more traversing the perilous pack ice, it's getting a bit slushy in places, Dave has however managed to clear a lane of water to the shore and so we can now use the zodiac to reach the penguins. Andrew and Ruth seem to be getting on okay, yesterday's rushes look great to the untrained eye and they both seem happy. Helen and Tudor have pretty much moved off the boat and into the Nissen hut at Port Lockroy. Apparently they managed to burn the shoulder of lamb we gave them for dinner last night so we're hoping we might be able to tempt them back with food at some point.