Exploring the World by Sail from A to Z

Jeff and Zia's adventures aboard the catamaran Hekla

12 January 2015 | 62 31'S:59 47'W, Antarctic Peninsual
09 January 2015 | 65 54'S:62 52'W, Antarctic Peninsual
07 January 2015 | 65 15'S:64 16'W, Antarctic Peninsual
04 January 2015 | 64 19'S:62 55'W, Antarctic peninsula
31 December 2014 | 54 48'S:68 19'W, Ushuaia
27 December 2014 | It's 6am must be Miami...
26 December 2014 | Guatemala
09 June 2013 | 17 35'N:80 42'W, Caribbean sea
06 June 2013 | Jamaica
04 June 2013 | 18 28'N:77 57'W, Montego Bay
02 June 2013 | 19 20'N:78 49'W, on passage Cayman-Jamaica
23 May 2013 | 19 43'N:82 58'W, south of Cuba, NW of Cayman
19 May 2013 | 24 34'N:81 49'W, Key West, Florida
30 April 2013 | 23 25'N:85 38'W, Gulf of Mexico
27 April 2013 | 21 15'N:86 45'W, Isla Mujeras
19 April 2013 | 18 17'N:87 50'W, Xcalak
17 April 2013 | 15 34'N:89 12'W, Lago Izabal, Guatemala
10 April 2013 | Rio Dulce
10 April 2013 | 15 39'N:88 'W, Rio Dulce
01 April 2013 | 16 05'N:88 32'W, Southern Belize

A Walk on the Beach

09 January 2015 | 65 54'S:62 52'W, Antarctic Peninsual
by Jeff
We are making our way north now in the second half of the trip. Twice we have been blocked from using a preferred anchorage because of still-frozen sea ice, and the "preferred anchorages" are few and far between. While nice looking coves of moderate anchoring depth are relatively plentiful, most are either with excessive risk of becoming embayed or even crushed by drifting icebergs, or have hard rock bottoms that an anchor cannot bite into. Two days ago we sailed (motored) until 2am because of this, but the so-called night sailing was not a problem because it was not very dark.

We have had more opportunities to kayak, which is quite nice to get this silent connection to nature. It is with some fear though, because a fall here, in water constantly teeming with ice chunks, can be life threatening, even though we wear cumbersome survival suits and are shadowed by the dinghy. We went to shore near our anchorage for a beach walk, and had an entertaining time taking funny photos around ice blocks, studying the krill and kelp in the tidal pools, and listening up close to the seals snore.

I would love to make modest overland excursions, climb some hills or ridges by ski, but there is little that constitutes "moderate" here. The vast majority of the shoreline is steep-to glacier ice, requiring ice climbing gear just to get off of the dinghy, followed by numerous crevasses and avalanche danger. We met up with an Australian ski-mountaineering party whose guide was limping with a blown out knee, victim of an avalanche one day earlier.

On January 6, the Orthadox Christmas, we were at the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where celebration was in full swing. This former British research station was immaculate, and even included a quaint pub, where we met with the Australian adventurers, the crew of a French yacht, and several Russian and Ukrainians. We have also stopped at the British Port Lockroy (southernmost post office in the world), and an Argentinian (dour) and Chilean (warm welcome) station as well. Our Natural Habitats guide, John, somewhat rolls his eyes at these station stops, saying we are on a wildlife exploration tour, but actually the penguin population at these stations is abundant (and quite a stench).

All is well, only a few more days left!
Comments
Vessel Name: Hekla
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 57, Chris White Designs
Hailing Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Crew: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
About: Jeff has been sailing for 11 years, and has completed two singlehanded TransPac races on his former trimaran Hecla. Zia is enthusiastic about adventure-exploration by sail
Hekla's Photos - Main
Interior photos of the boat
20 Photos
Created 29 November 2011
Photos of Hekla under construction, Sept 2010 to Nov 2011
30 Photos
Created 4 August 2011

S/V Hekla

Who: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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