Horseshoe Diaries

As our team are conserving Horseshoe we will be updating diary entries from Base Y from 1955 through to 2017.  Opened in 1955 and closed in 1960, Base Y is a time capsule of Antarctic history. With contributions from base logs, personal diaries and modern day updates, Horseshoe Diaries will keep you up to date with what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen with this remarkable base. 

20 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

2 degrees C, wind only 4kts, cloudy sky -- another pretty good day for exterior jobs.  Sophie will be assessing artefacts around the station: pram dinghies, winch, mooring posts, meteorology stands, and other objects used when this was an active science base; Michael and Al will be bolstering the pup pens with some timber and felt, and Liesl will be cleaning up some nearly-finished projects and starting to organise the equipment and stores that we will not be using in the coming week -- all preparations for our all-too-soon departure.  We are looking forward to a good final week here and are sure to be busy right to the end, but we have enjoyed our fascinating project in this place that is, as a friend described, "evocative of the great days of pioneering survey and exploration overland travel."

#HorseshoeDiaries

20 February 1956
Base Journal 1956

"Don, Derek and Dick went up Gendarme Peak, filming being the pretext! Gordon did some painting. Ken killed seals"

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

19 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

After getting the Emergency Hut re-felted and weather-protected, we had a lovely visit from the MS Fram yesterday evening, who brought us a nice care package from Port Lockroy! The IAATO expedition ships are incredibly helpful to us at UKAHT, often delivering supplies and people, as well providing fresh water, showers, and treats (things like fresh fruit, tasty bread, and packages!). We had campers ashore for the night, and early this morning, along with the campers, two big bags of mail left the island destined for points afar. The Fram, now our trusty mail ship, will deliver the mail to the Post Office in Port Stanley, Falkland Island, in a couple of weeks, where it will be sorted into the Royal Mail system and eventually end up at lucky door steps. It is a good adventure for a post card!

#HorseshoeDiaries

19 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"A glorious day of sunshine and only slight wind. Spent a good part of it getting seals who were inconsiderate enough to come up in some numbers near the hut. Jim and I took the Admirals out for an hour’s exercise after tea, driving them round in the snow patch near the lake." #HorseshoeDiaries

18 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

The walk over to Leopard Naze where the Emergency Hut stands is getting used a lot today as Michael and Al continue to haul roofing felt over the island to help make the hut waterproof. The little building is a favourite of ours as it is like a little fishing shack, situated with an amazing view of ocean and mountains, and one can hear waves lapping, icebergs calving, seals bellowing, penguins swimming, and cormorants, petrels, and skuas flying. Fortunately, the repairs will help keep it dry so that it can last a long time for reminiscing. Inside "Charcot Hut," the main building on site, over 5000 artefacts have been recorded... and still counting!

#HorseshoeDairies

18 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Our low temperature and strong wind continued today without a break. Sis’s pup had to be killed and Jim and I were up until 2 am trying to persuade her to foster the weakest of Nun’s litter, but without success. It seems that any fostering has to be done very soon after birth before the pups have acquired their mother’s smell. Almost finished computing heights today, found that Gendarme Peak is 1760 ft, and not nearly 2000 as we thought." #HorseshoeDiaries

17 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

We woke up to a thick frost and deep fog surrounding us. By the time breakfast was over however, the mountains on Pourquoi Pas Island, across the fjord, were starting to show. Another calm day is appreciated for Emergency Hut repairs, but it will be this afternoon before we get all the supplies there. As the rest of the fog burns off, hauling felt, nails and other work gear 400m across rock and snow will help burn off our breakfast.

#HorseshoeDiaries

17 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"A high wind blew all day, and with it came a surprisingly low temperature, between 22 and 20˚F, our first freeze for ages. Computing co-ordinates and heights. Much speculation on date of arrival of Shackleton, general feeling seems to be about 4th of next month." #HorseshoeDiaries

16 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Yesterday we had a successful visit from the MS Expedition which managed to find a relatively ice-free landing spot near the Emergency Hut late in the afternoon, and guests walked across the rocky maze to the main base and were able to fully appreciate the spirit of Horseshoe Island.

With today's weather - calm, not too sunny, no precipitation - it is a perfect grey day for accomplishing the external photogrammetry of the the site.  This involved taking detailed overlapping photos of building features in concert with collecting GPS data to allow for remote spacial orientation and building modeling.  In short: we get to be outside taking pictures using cool equipment.   How fun is that?!

#HorseshoeDiaries

16 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"More cloud, but no wind, and as Norsel Cove was ice free, I managed to get the sounding done in the afternoon and evening. A reply about the Darbel Bay depot – my suggested alternative position is accepted. If this depot laying is successful, it will save us as much time as we’ve spent sledging this year." #HorseshoeDiaries

15 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

We are expecting a visit today from the MS Expedition.  In a couple of weeks, we'll see this vessel again to climb aboard and depart Horseshoe Island.  While eager to welcome visitors and open the Marguerite Bay post office again, we are, for now, very happy to stick around a little longer.  It is hard for us to think about leaving already!  Exterior photogrammetry, some repairs on the out buildings, and more accounting of artefacts are still on the to do list.  With luck, we'll also get another walk to the Memorial Cross or even up Mount Searl to look at the surrounds.  At present, it is a bit rainy and windy, but we are optimistic and best get on with it! #HorseshoeDiaries

15 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Another gloomy day of intermittent snow and quite high temperatures. I was computing most of the day, coordinates and heights. Then and evening printing. I noticed that the ice in ‘Homing Bay’ behind the hut is now quite free, a wind from the south and it would go completely – it must be something unusual. Last summer it was firm enough, and seemed as if it would never go out". #HorseshoeDiaries

15 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Slightly cooler, in fact nearly freezing. Lots of big bergs aboout. Light snow most of the day prevented outdoor painting. Vino has found one box of cigarettes and is very chuffed. Heard that Shackleton left yesterday."

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

14 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Among the delights that have been exposed during our sleuthing, we were happy to see the bathtub uncovered in the sledge workshop. Having been full of equipment used back in the days of dog sledding, seeing the tub empty, brought on imaginings of luxurious warm baths in this harsh environment.  Two 45-gallon drum halves were welded together, a nice little wooden cork made, tidy shelves arranged, a rack built for safely setting items, water temp raised by circulating through a nearby bonfire stove, even a happy pig painting added to the ambience.  We did, however, read in a diary that on at least one occasion, the poor fellow who had taken a bath got so cold that he had to be revived with whisky -- so perhaps it wasn't always grand.  We were not tempted to dive in, after all, even after 10 days of not showering.  Elsewhere on base, building material sampling efforts have been completed with the collection of over 80 items to analyse further, and it is a sunny, calm day thus far! #HorseshoeDiaries

14 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"A telegram form Petra inquiring about puppies and huskies among other things. I computed the co-ordinate positions of the first four trigs. in the evening, they were all within 1/100 of a foot! – I must introduce some inaccuracies, no one will ever believe it!"

#HorseshoeDiaries

13 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

The 13th! A lucky day for some and we'll count ourselves among them. We're having a birthday celebration here today -- not ours, but someone special at home.  It is fun to have a reason to celebrate so we've got some creative notions about baking a cake or something fancy tonight, and we've already had a lot of chocolate! The wind is calm today, and the temp is 8C, so things are looking up weather-wise.  If the trend continues, we'll have a fine day to do photogrammetry of the building exteriors this week.  For now, we're continuing work inside the main hut gathering samples and artefact data.  Sophie has managed to account for over 4200 items so far, so she has a lot records to log, and is about 3/4 finished with the task.  For all of you with birthdays today: Happy Birthday -- we're thinking of you! #HorseshoeDiaries

13 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Seeing tomorrow is your birthday I'll let you off with 4 crosswords and 2 hours detention."

#HorseshoeDiaries

12 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

After windy weather and chilly temperatures, we are once again "chocked in" with icebergs, flows, and brash.  Moving through Piccadilly Square would be easier than the congested fjord in front of us with big tabular bergs resting like abandoned warehouses in the middle of it all.  The penguins and seals find it wonderful and we see many of each on the flows in front of camp, but the ice will make ship visits a challenge if the wind doesn't help shift the scene in the coming days.  Above Sally Cove, which was almost clear water and is now a rough white expanse, the skuas, terns, and cormorants can be seen awkwardly fighting the stout breeze instead of taking their normally-graceful soaring.  At work, the effort today is to catalogue artefacts in the sledge store, take samples of concrete, wood, and other building materials around the base, and completing the philatelic mail requests we've received at the revived Marguerite Bay Post Office on Horseshoe Island.  It’ another Sunday Funday. #HorseshoeDiaries

12 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"It rained most of today. Through it all a leopard seal was sleeping on a floe a few yards from our shore."

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

11 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

While gearing up here at Horseshoe, we've been fortunate enough to hear from a few of the folks who have visited Horseshoe in the last 30 years, often on winter trips from the British science base Rothera.  The base diary is indeed full of people complementing the locale.  One fellow, Nigel Dean, told us, "I was lucky enough to have visited and stayed in the hut during the winter of 92 ... I travelled by Skidoo but the two remaining dog teams 'the Admirals' and 'the Huns' also made trips to the bases. This was the last time that dogs were seen at Stonington and Base Y ..."  Even then, the base appeared a time capsule.  Nigel said, "I remember well the piles of cans of dried cabbage. Also lots of various canned food. Not very politically correct re your efforts to preserve the contents but we even cooked up one of the old steak and kidney puddings from the 50's which from memory tasted rather good."  We also heard stories about playing games here while waiting out poor weather.  With the wind blowing as hard as it has been the past two days, a warm stove, hot tin of food, and good game of scrabble sounds fun. #HorseshoeDiaries

 

11 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Cloudy and windy, an indoor day. Adding machine and typewriter in great demand. Nicel was working in the quarry at the end of the hut and getting himself ready for a few weeks hermitage in the darkroom. Both Johns on reports and stats. Paddy was foodmastering and said we had 44 years supply of dried beetroot." 

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

10 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

It was a 10-canner last night.  That was dinner.  It’s a record so far, but it isn't unusual to open several tins of food for dinner – some meat, some veg, maybe some fruit and custard for pudding (and yes, it
is a lot of food for four people).  That hasn't changed a lot in 60 years, although in years past, there was a great deal of dehydrated food as well.  Throughout the main hut, there are still scores of stores
stacked high in tins of various sizes.  We're only here for a short while, but when the base was occupied, food enough for at least a year was stored on site.  There is still a significant amount of it in nooks, cupboards, and crannies.  Most of the remaining food was left when the base was abandoned, but some has been left in the 80's and 90's when teams from Rothera (UK) and San Martin (Argentina) came to Horseshoe on winter trips.  For now, we're taking stock and assessing the condition of the old tins and using up our new tins as fast as we can. Hungry anyone?

10 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"I moved my sleeping bag back into the porch last night, but even so I woke up with a young snow drift covering me. A heavy snowfall had been blown in the door. It cleared up in the afternoon and I loaded the theodolite into the boat intending to do some survey at Homing Head and bring back a tent left there. Ken and I got only a short way when we ran into a lot of brash being blown into the bay, so changed our plans and landed on the small rookery island and spent the afternoon watching the chicks and getting three seals. Got a huge telegram – letter from mum, the first of its kind from her."

#HorseshoeDiaries

9 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

For a quiet, peaceful place, the sounds at Horseshoe are surprisingly loud.  As we climbed into our tents last night, we heard thunder from a huge iceberg calving, crumbling, then turtling (flipping over), subsequent waves crashed on the rocky shores, individual penguins wandered the camp squawking for company, skuas and gulls chattering after each other in air races, and the wind rattled our tents with fierceness. Not that any of those sounds stirred us much -- we all slept soundly in result of a long chilly day and there is little more welcoming than a warm sleeping bag and cozy tent.  For all of us landlubbers, the constant sound of the sea is soothing and "holidayish."  The weather seems a bit brighter today, but still a bit breezy, so the lapping waves will keep us calm as we'll continue working inside Charcot Hut, cataloguing items, recording room features, and documenting everything with photos. We'll have generators running to power lights and charge computers, but the place still seems quiet and peaceful. #HorseshoeDiaries

9 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Fine day again, everyone very active. Paint is being applied everywhere and the outiside of the hut is nearly finished. The day is rounded off for most people by stats and reports in the evening."

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

 

8 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

It is amazing to us how fast the local landscape can change.  When we arrived just 10 days ago, we could not even get close to the hut due to impeding ice.  Sally Cove, behind the hut, has remained blocked, but that is changing, too.  It is presently a resting place for over 30 weddell and crabeater seals, who bask in the sun and occasionally sing songs which echo across the frozen sea scape.  In a few days, it is likely we'll have just water around us and the seals will have to find other ice flows to nap on.  We also saw our first fur seal today, barking at us from the shore near camp.  Now and again, we get an Adelie penguin or two visiting, and a giant petrel soars by on a daily basis. Little Wilson's storm petrels dance on the water nearby, and in the distance, we can see minke whales feeding -- their blows clearly audible in the still air.  All in all, it is far from being a lonely place. As for work, we had great success on the windows and rigging yesterday, and most of the spaces in the loft have been recorded.  Today is colder and windier, so we'll look to some inside tasking. #HorseshoeDiaries

8 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"The news that Frank Elliott would probably be coming on the Shackleton has given rise to some discussion today. Spent it painting. A very strong wind got up in the evening, it’s very dark now. If the sky were clear stars would be visible."

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

7 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

We've been blessed with another sunny day to finish fixing broken windows and potentially broken rigging on the exterior of 'Charcot Hut'.  Much of the damage we see is a product of time. Strong winds can be a problem here, thus some of the broken windows may be a product of flying debris and we certainly would like the roof to stay on, hence the importance of the rigging.  Sophie will be happy for the sunshine, too, even inside the building as she progresses to inventory the loft -- a warm and cozy space when it is nice outside.  She is generally well bundled up when working on artefacts inside the building.  She has been finding many interesting items, like personal missives and homemade scrabble pieces, giving insight into the lives of the men who used to live here.  We feel fortunate to be following in their footsteps in this beautiful place. #HorseshoeDiaries

7 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Still a lot of pack in Homing Bay and in the fjord. Head the Biscoe left Stanley today but not the Shackleton. My day was spent digging and chipping the rest of the pemmican and ration boxes out of their ice coating, and stacking them on rocks where they should remain free of drift. Our weather is again cold and overcast as it was yesterday. Telegram from Petra. " #HorseshoeDiaries

6 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

With a good morning of measuring doors, cataloguing artefacts, and camp duties, we decided to extend our assessment of the features on the island and walk 3km to the memorial cross on Beacon Head.This cross was erected in memory of Stan Black, David Statham, and Geoffrey Stride who were lost on a sledge journey from Base ‘Y’ to the Dion Islets when ice Broke up on 27^th of May 1958.It is a beautiful marker in a beautiful place and we recorded its features so that the guy wires can be replaced and it can continue standing strongly in honour of these men.We had a lovely walk and it finished our day nicely.Today, we’re back on task with window repairs being one of the big items on our agenda.It is nice to work outside on a sunny day. #HorseshoeDiaries

6 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Today the J.B, The US Navy, the Gov. and all it may concern have suddenly leapt into action. J.B. suddenly found she wasn't stuck in the ice [No comment] and shot off" #HorseshoeDiaries

6 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"Much the same as yesterday, only snowing heavily most of the day. Thawing too. The only ones who appreciate this weather are the pups, they have been playing all day today."

#HorseshoeDiaries

 

 

 

Photo © Derek Searle

5 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Sunday Funday.... although here at Horseshoe Island, it is really just another work day.  We've got so much to do and such a compressed schedule, we're all eager to get as much done as we can. Thus after we said goodbye to the campers who visited last night, we're back on task. We did have a lovely visit yesterday by the MS Fram guests, who had a nice look around, took some hikes, kept our post office busy, and also provided us with a couple shackles to make an emergency repair on some rigging, then brought us on board for a welcome shower, excellent Norwegian meal, some warm power to charge our computer, and good company.  It was a treat to see familiar faces and old friends on the expedition team, including Rachel Morgan, an instrumental element in getting the UKAHT on it feet.  We also had one other visitor: a single Adelie penguin came to see what all the interest was, but after looking at the historic pram dinghies, it left us for a swim in the sea. #HorseshoeDiaries

5 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"I was woken this morning at 8.45 by the sound and sight of an aeroplane flying north east and high up Bourgeois Fjord. Great controversy raging, what is it? Don says Grumman Goose, I think Catalina with fixed floats. It later came back and then flew north again. The bay behind the hut and Bourgeois Fjord filled with brash and small pans during the night, it probably looks like fast ice from 10,000 feet. Lunch time – the plane returned while we were at lunch and gave us great excitement by buzzing over us at a few hundred feet, waggling her wings in a very friendly manner. We were able to identify it as Don’s choice, a Goose, and could easily pick out the Argentine markings and its number 3 8 53. Greatest excitement probably because seeing the plane brings home the fact that there are other people about, and in a few weeks time we shall see the Biscoe." #HorseshoeDiaries

4 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Looks like it might be another cold, wet day so we'll bundle up in our new Tog Ski Jackets and get as much done as we can before we have visitors this afternoon.  Sophie is makeing great progress in "Charcot Hut" (the official title of the main building hut at Base Y, named after one of the early-20th Century explorers in this region), Michael and Al are working on the window and door schedules (recording every detail about the condition of the building's openings), and Liesl is sorting the newly franked mail, updating records, and fighting with a few computer issues. Regardless of the weather or other challenges we've come across, we all think "Life is good at Base Y."  We hope everyone is having a good weekend!

3 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

We awoke to a cold, snowy morning, but ate a quick breakfast and quickly got to work. It has been surprisingly busy here lately, not only with conservation work, but also with site interpretation! Yesterday with Al's arrival a came visit by British Antarctic Survey participants collecting geology and moss samples as well as replenishing their winter emergency cache held on site.  This morning we had an even bigger group come ashore from the MS Bremen, and expedition ship visiting the area as it semicircumnavigates the continent.  Tomorrow, we expect the MS Fram to bring more visitors ashore for a day stop as well as some overnight camping.  While we love the peace and quiet of the island, we enjoy having guests as it gives us the oportunity to show off this amazing historic gem by telling stories we've read in journals, books, reports, and diaries, and pointing out features that make the area significant, including well-preserved food stores that Sophie is assessing.  We were also able to reopen the Marguerite Bay (Horseshoe Island) post office after almost 60 years of weathering, and we're looking forward to franking postcards tonight!

3 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"The world has been shocked by the astounding performance of the Biscoe dashing south in her daring rescue bid: there seems to be a magnetic storm near "F" preventing movement. Of course there is no ice that could stop a BRITISH ice breaker."

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

2 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

And then there were four!  Good news today as the HMS Protector came into view after visiting Rothera (the UK's active, year-round science base on the peninsula), and delivered Al Fastier, our cold-climates building conservation expert and final team member.  It is great to have everyone together.  We've been cracking on with our work schedule, but there is much to do so we'll have a busy 4 weeks.  We also had our first iridium phone call to Cambridge today. Nice to talk to the bosses, direct.  Now... it is time to "Get On With It."

2 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"A cloudy calm morning turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon. I built another pen for Dolly to fill with puppies, and had a trip with Ken in the boat to get a seal. Possibility of Deception being control base next year, how will this affect Gordon who has asked to go to control, and understanding it would be at Lockroy again."

#HorseshoeDiaries

1 February 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Oh Yeah!  A Sunny Day!  Antarctica is beautiful no matter what, but good weather makes it all the nicer!  We're delighted to get our wet gloves and boots out in the sun to dry while we continue to organise domestic gear and tools, survey the site, do safety checks, and enjoy the scenery. We're pleased to have some of the comforts of "home" finally established here at Horseshoe (all tents are up and stocked!). The weather was so calm last night, Michael thought he could hear the slow mechanical drumming of Rothera's generators (35 miles away) or perhaps it was a ship in the area... we'll keep our eyes peeled and radios on! Tomorrow Al, our final team member (4 of us in all) will hopefully be delivered to Camp from his long trip from the Ross Sea (where he was restoring the TAE hut at Scott Base) via New Zealand and Chile.  We're looking forward to seeing him and continuing with our busy schedule. #HorseshoeDiaries

1 February 1959
Base Journal 1959

"As Nigel has failed to fill in today's entry I will have to do it. Nigel on cook ALL day; production of numerous lush bread rolls, now rapidly diminishing. Paddy and Mac went sledging across the Fjord (I wonder what the real idea was?) and caught a seal. John P spent much time in his monk's (hermit's?) cell. John R given 2 hours detention for appearing late for tea."

#HorseshoeDiaries

1 February 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Weather and work repeat of yesterday. Sign of the times – Gordon swore he heard a ship’s siren this morning. Seals have been popping up on floes around us today, several have been added to the larder. And it looks as if we’re going to need all we can get, Nun’s six continue to flourish, Sis has given birth to one pup this morning, and Dolly is in an eminently interesting condition. In the afternoon talked with Ken about possible base leadership next year, and its problems.., I hope to heaven I can run this base well, and get things done! However, it rests with SecFids." 

#HorseshoeDiaries

31 January 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

We were awoken this morning at 4:30am with the sound of minke whales blowing in front of the base (yesterday it was 5:30am with a squawking Adelie penguin behind the tent).  Nice alarms, if you have to get up early.  We're getting camp sorted out and Sophie started the assessment of artefacts in the Emergency Stores. Today we cooked our first hot meal inside the Weatherhaven Tent and we were all well satisfied.  So far, no rain today, lots of crabeater seals around, ice bergs fill the view in front of us, and life is good.

#HorseshoeDiaries

31 January 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Another calmish day, still no sun and more tidying. I had an evening in the dark-room trying some enlarging. There’s a rush on the dark-room with everyone trying to get everything printed before the ship comes, that we’ve had to start a rota." 

#HorseshoeDiaries

31 January 1959
Base Journal 1959

"All these jolly amusing diary entries will show future Base "Y" members just how cheerful and hilariously happy we all were at this time despite miserable flounderings of "John Biscoe" in French Passage, Eh! What Adrian!? Of couse we're all BRITISH (What about Jersey?) SPLENDID" 

#HorseshoeDiaries

30 January 2017
Basy Y Conservation Team

Spent the day moving stores!  Both today and yesterday were a huge effort fighting brash ice and bergs to get the stores ashore.  Yesterday's landing spot for almost half of our gear was almost a kilometer from the base -- a long walk carrying heavy items.  Today, the ice moved enough to get closer to camp -- a welcome change. Our food, tool, equipment, and materials for emergency repairs are strewn around us as best we could do in inclement weather, but we're getting everything sorted.  Sophie and Michael are putting working on the Weatherhaven Tent as we speak and we'll be cozy soon enough. Last night we slept well in our new TeraNova Hyperspace Tents and are looking forward to another good rest tonight.

#HorseshoeDiaries

30 January 1956
Derek Searle's Diary

"Today seemed like a return to the early manual labouring days, we started tidying up round the hut, and I spent it carrying timber, coal sacks and cement buckets from one place to another. But at least the wind dropped to nothing to give us a comfortable 66 day’s work. Did a little more to the plane table sketch in the evening. Theron is at Vahsel Bay base site. Shackleton nearly at Port Stanley." 

 #HorseshoeDiaries

29 January 2017
Base Y Conservation Team

Floating brash ice, bergy bits, and grounded ice bergs are blocking access for landing equipment.  We'll keep trying and wind, tide, and current will hopefully help us out, but it isn't looking good for today.  Back on the ship, Sophie has opened the Horseshoe Post Office to sell post cards of the vista.

#HorseshoeDiaries

29 January 1956
Base Journal 1956

"Wind abated. Fjord ice free, except for shattered icebergs. Ice edge around mid part of Ridge Island. Second coat of paint in kitchen applied by Ken and Trevor"

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

28 January 2017
The Base Y Conservation Team

We've had a low pressure hanging over us the last few days, but it has held off enough to let us see the mountains... AMAZING!!  Michael is particularly delighted having spent 4 winters in this area and now recognizing so many familiar sights.  Liesl visited Rothera Station today to pick up some additional gear (to add to the 3.5 tonnes already on board), update our computer, and coordinate some comms information.  A successful trip, other than that fact that Al's plane is delayed, so he'll have to wait a few days to meet us.  For now, the rest of the team, Liesl, Michael, and Sophie, are headed to Horseshoe to set up camp and get cracking!

#HorseshoeDiaries

27 January 2017
The Base Y Conservation Team

Motoring southward and peering through the 360-degree view from the bridge, we've seen penguins, petrels, cape pigeons, fulmars, skuas, and other birds flitting around while numerous humpback whales blew spray into the frigid air from the dark ocean.  The clouds are grey and low, adding ambience to the glacial textures of the scenery.
Ice cliffs surrounded us as we travelled down Gerlache Strait skirting the eastern then southern side of Wiencke Island waving in the various directions of Waterboat Point, Damoy Hut, Port Lockroy, and other historic features we passed.  Our first post card was received from AB Hailey Pollitt for mailing at Horseshoe.  It has been a lovely day of cruising and we're getting closer to our destination each day.

#HorseshoeDiaries

25 January 2017
The Base Y Conservation Team

After a busy time in Stanley, FI, prepping gear and few days rolling on the Drake, we were happy to see land & calm water yesterday...ANTARCTICA! Today we were anchored in Admiralty Bay off King George Island. Beautiful glacial scenery surrounds us. Busy day for shore and dive parties collecting samples for BAS and meeting with Brazilians at Base Com. Ferraz where cranes and building supplies dominate the area that burned a few years ago. Base Y team was busy onboard with reading historic reports, planning, training, and of course following the ships "pipes" to the dining room when food is offered.  We'll be headed further south and closer to Horseshoe tonight.  Everyone is excited!

 

#HorseshoeDiaries

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