Mike Horn

Antarctica

The next morning we left Trinity Island and sailed a few hours to Charcot Bay. There, according to the maps, we knew we would find a safe place to anchor. The weather was nice with gently breezes and sun slowly coming out from behind the clouds.

It was here that we were able to do our first scientific tests under the surveillance of Roswitha from the University of Munich. We took plankton measurements from Trinity Island through to Charcot Bay. The samples were carefully taken and analyzed in the evening. Other measurements of salinity and water temperature were also done.

We passed some huge ice bergs when approaching the Peninsula and as soon as we arrived at Charcot Bay, we prepared ourselves to walk on the ice. After having found a path through the ice, the zodiac was put into the water and everybody was transported to the peninsula.

A challenge lay ahead of us – a small summit that probability no one had ever climbed. After hiking approximately 45 minutes in fresh snow, we reached the summit. What an amazing view from the top!! We could see the entire bay full of ice and icebergs with the boat standing in the middle of that beautiful landscape. Incredible!! We baptized this summit the 'Pangaea Summit' and took its coordinates (63°46.351 S 059°47.448 W).

As we were on the summit, Roswitha asked us to take snow measurements. It was quite an interesting place to see the different layers. After 45 minutes, we decided to go down and back to the boat where they were welcomed with a hot lunch. The captain and the crew were busy getting the boat anchored for the evening but to our surprise the day was not yet over! Tonight we were going to experience a night on land. We were told to prepare our sleeping bags and kit and be ready to camp for the night.
Our guides found a nice spot to set up a camp and we left the boat at 8pm and started walking. It was a new experience to walk during the night with Petzl headlamps and ropes to secure us. We eventually reached our campsite and everyone started working quickly to get the tent pitched. One hour later, we were all inside drinking hot soup. We had a great night and it was hard getting out of the sleeping bag the next morning.

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