21 March 2014 | 53 54.7'S:067 45.9'W, Beagle Channel
05 March 2014 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.6'W, Lockroy
04 March 2014 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.6'W, Lockroy
03 March 2014 | 65 06.5'S:064 04.4'W, Pleneau
28 February 2014 | 65 03.9'S:064 01.9'W, Port Charcot
23 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.6'W, Port Lockroy
22 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.6'W, Port Lockroy
20 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.6'W, Port Lockroy
20 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.6'W, Port Lockroy
14 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.3'W, Port Lockroy
12 January 2014 | 64 49.2'S:063 29'W, Port Lockroy
27 December 2013 | 64 49.2'S:063 29'W, Port Lockroy
23 December 2013 | 64 49.2'S:063 29'W, Port Lockroy
20 December 2013 | 64 49.2'S:063 29'W, Port Lockroy
26 November 2013 | 60 15.9'S:065 54.7'W, Drake Passage
23 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.6'W, Jougla Point, Port Lockroy
16 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.6'W, Jougla Point, Port Lockroy
13 November 2013 | 64 49.4'S:063 29.7'W, In the fast ice, back bay Port Lockroy
11 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.8'W, Half a mile from Port Lockroy
07 November 2013 | 64 49.7'S:063 29.8'W, Half a mile from Port Lockroy

Diary of a failed blogger

12 January 2014 | 64 49.2'S:063 29'W, Port Lockroy
OK, this is the 4th blog from your �"failed blogger' in a month. Is anyone still out there checking? Don't worry I will nail you again with this material in the end of voyage Newsletter, illustrated, so wait for it!

Actually I have been giving this blogging lark quite a lot of thought lately Ð only thought and no action as you might have noticed. Sort of like when my favorite American author Henry Miller �"thought' about what he should be writing Ð but it was instead easier to cage a piece of cherry pie and coffee from a New York City diner . . . sit there and think some more.

That is partly true, but for me it has been a question of exercising my selfish self, and neglecting my �"audience' (sorry!). I have been having too much fun to blog. I have been too exhausted every day to blog, by having too much fun. Then there is the consideration that the only time to blog is in the evening (can you imagine being below on a clear, stellar day in the Antarctic sitting at a god damned computer . . .?) and I have finally figured out that blogging after drinking a bottle of wine in the evening can only land me in embarrassing situations . . . . Mark Twain said, "If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year." I would agree, but striking out the word �"young' so this could conveniently apply to yours truly.

Therefore I have decided I will not be telling you in any detail about the marvelous New Years Eve party we had on the swish motor yacht Hanse Explorer that was parked in the sea ice, celebrating with my old sailing mate and Pelagic veteran Peter Isler, and also Graham "Grum" Charles, one of the Expedition Leaders on board and also a two time Pelagic veteran. True to Pelagic form our crew danced until 0300 and closed the bar, but I won't elaborate any more on that.

And I won't tell you much about our rendezvous with old friends Jerome, Dion, Alain and Claudine Ð pioneers of the genre Ð it was a private matter.

I also won't tell you too much more about Lara and Luca's penguin survey which is still on going. It is a major contribution to Antarctic science but it is too complicated to explain.

And our night under canvass on top of Damoy Point, with a view over the southern Neumayer Channel, sparkling with brash ice and the mighty massif of Mt Francais towering over us to the west on Anvers Island? Of course it is hard to imagine if you hadn't been there.

Finally on January 6th we broke through the fastness of our main commitment filming penguins at Port Lockroy, to sail south for three days in search of leopard seals, Adelie penguins and come what may. The weather was spectacularly clear and plenty of ice still to make things interesting. Don't miss the Newsletter to see the photos . . . .

After all this a sudden reality set in, in view of the weather prognosis, that we would unlikely make our flights out of Ushuaia on the 15th. A rapid plan B was put in motion where Elena, Lara, Luca and Andrew's family Emma, Daisy and Amy would jump the cruise ship Fram on the 10th for a painless voyage back across the Drake Passage. Of course this can be seen by sailing purists as a �"cop out,' a slavishness to urban responsibilities. Lara and Luca were at least very sad and in two minds about the whole thing to be abandoning Dad to his own devices (pass the bottle), and not taking it on the nose. Very admirable of them. When Luca said "I want to sail back with you Dad," and Lara said, "But I don't want to go on a cruise ship, I want to go back on Pelagic," well, that was about the highest accolade achievable. Elena and I sailing back together might have even been good for our marriage (a clip right out of the Simpson's). But in view flight changes (not possible for a nother week), school issues and Elena's work we, for once, thought clearly of the consequences and I waved them goodbye at the Fram's landing stage and then they were sucked upstairs into the bowels of this impressive polar tour vessel. The image was right out of the film �"ET.'

Andrew and Ruth are now on board, but onshore most of the day hovering over penguin nests attempting to get �"five star' shots. The chicks are pretty much all hatched and predation from Skuas is beginning in earnest. Me? I am left to my own desires; puttering around doing odd jobs, collecting ice for our water supply, baking bread, visiting the girls at the base and occasionally adjusting our five shore lines (I was out at midnight past in a raging gale re-attaching a wire sling to a rock, so its not all beer and skittles). Other than keeping this craft on station, there are few urgencies to deal with. Antarctic bliss.

I am due out on the Fram on the 19th as Dave comes in. Bertie arrives on Pelagic Australis first week of February to carry on with Stage 3 of the Penguin Post.

Check my blog . . . . I will let you know how things are going, but like always, don't count on it! For those of you who live vicariously via blogs, come down and experience the real thing.

Vessel Name: Pelagic
Hailing Port: Stanley, Falkland Islands

Port: Stanley, Falkland Islands