Sunsets and Pina Coladas
22 February 2014 | 64 49.5'S:063 29.6'W, Port Lockroy
Having dealt with milk/cheese-gate in the forepeak bilges (Dave gallantly took over half-way through, when it became apparent that I was losing the will to live), I feel we finally conquered the tidying of the forepeak when we removed the random mouldy half an egg we found forward of the chain locker the following day. We're not sure how said egg got there, or how long it had been there, (although we are pretty sure it came from a chicken, and not a penguin) but the important thing to remember is that it isn't there anymore. Whilst having restored order to the forepeak may not seem like much to a lot of people, completing this task felt like order had almost been restored to LittleP after her Christmas carnage and we could start to focus on the next stage of the project, preparing for Doug Allan's arrival. Evidence, once more, that working in sailing is not all sunsets and pina coladas, but sometimes involves dealing with mouldy rotten egg smells as well.
Having said that, a lot of the time working in sailing is about sunsets and pina coladas, or in our case, sunsets and gin and tonics, and now we have moved house we are in an even better position to appreciate the sunsets. With the glacier being so active, I think Dave rather got sick of waking up in the middle of the night, wondering if we were about to get run down by an iceberg. So we have moved back into the little creek in front of the Port Lockroy boatshed. In addition to not wanting to get run down by icebergs, with Dave technically being Doug Allan's Ã"safety diver' and so being required to be out in the dinghy when we go diving, and me being the designated dinghy driver, we'll have to be leaving the boat unattended for up to a couple of hours at a time. Another reason to move in behind our natural rocky breakwater. It's also rather nice to have a change of scene.
With one last evening to ourselves before we launched into the diving project, Dave and I took the opportunity to head out for a kayak. We couldn't have timed it better, as the wind dropped to zero and the sun came out and I finally made it round to all the tourist Ã"hotspots' in Port Lockroy. Places that no self-respecting cruise ship tourist would miss, but that I hadn't visited despite almost 3 months in and around Lockroy. First stop, having switched places in the kayak at Jougla Point, when Dave discovered that he couldn't paddle and steer the rudder with his feet at the same time, was the whale bone skeleton. This whale is in fact multiple whales, of at least 3 different species, that have been laid out at some point into one Heinz 57 skeleton, but despite not being entirely anatomically correct, its pretty impressive to have a look at a pelvis bone that is longer than you are tall. Our next stop was Graffiti rock, where the whalers left their mark in 1921 and where the first Falkland Island Dependants to Lockroy, or FIDS, left a plaque in later years to commemorate their presence. This was not in fact the first time I'd been over to Graffiti, but it had looked rather different in November, when we'd trekked across the sea ice from the base with Tudor. Whilst over at Graffiti rock, Dave and I also heard a small chirping, which after a few minutes of listening quietly we managed to attribute to a tiny moving ball of fluff with legs, which turned out to be a skua chick. In particular, I enjoyed the paddle back to the boat, as having picked up an ambitiously large block of ice for G&T's I was now unable to reach my paddle, and confined to steering with my feet and snapping photos, whist Dave did the hard work. There was something quite natural about sitting back and being paddled around, I feel it suits me. Dave disagrees.
With no rest for the wicked, Andrew and Ruth headed straight out after dinner to get some film of the amazing sunset. With Dave as designated driver for the evening, that left me onboard with a rare evening to myself, G&T's and the terrible ukulele strumming that I refuse to subject anyone else to. Like I said, whilst yachting isn't all beautiful sunsets, on the occasions that it is, it almost makes all the hard work, cold hands and rotten egg bilges worth it.