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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesAntarctic blog → Cap Ada­re – 22. Febru­ar 2017

Cap Ada­re – 22. Febru­ar 2017

We have got a spe­cial mis­si­on at Cape Ada­re. We have got a grand­g­rand­son of Niko­laj Han­son on board. Han­son was the zoo­lo­gist of Borchgrevink’s expe­di­ti­on, which was the very first one ever to win­ter on ant­arc­tic ground, in 1899-1900. Han­son died in the late win­ter and was buried high up on the moun­tain ridge of Cape Ada­re. This was actual­ly qui­te a task in its­elf:

The cof­fin had to be car­ri­ed several hund­red metres up a rather steep, icy moun­tain slo­pe, and then a gra­ve had to be blas­ted into the rock with dyna­mi­te. It is said that Hanson’s last wish at the end of his long dise­a­se was to see the pen­gu­ins again when they would return to Cape Ada­re. His com­ra­des cap­tu­red the first pin­gu­in that came back and brought it to Hanson’s bed. Soon the­re­af­ter Han­son died.

Never has a fami­ly mem­ber been to Hanson’s lonely gra­ve. It was our mis­si­on to chan­ge this, a mis­si­on that had been pre­pa­red by a per­mit­ting pro­cess of several mon­ths. In the end it is just a mat­ter of a heli­co­p­ter lan­ding on a rocky moun­tain ridge devoid of life. The mis­si­on is hap­pi­ly com­ple­ted in the ear­liest morning hours.

Gal­le­ry – Cap Ada­re – 22. Febru­ar 2017

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The second mis­si­on, to get ever­y­bo­dy to Borchgrevink’s famous win­te­ring hut, the oldest ever human-made con­struc­tion on this con­ti­nent, turns out to be more dif­fi­cult. Cape Ada­re is noto­rious for wind and ice. The wind does not crea­te any trou­bles today, but the ice are an obsta­cle that we can not over­ca­me.

It is just a strip less than 50 m wide, blo­cking the beach of like the wall of a fort­ress, but the grow­lers are hund­reds of tons hea­vy and they are moved around by swell and cur­rent. A very dan­ge­rous com­bi­na­ti­on.

This does not keep us from get­ting as clo­se as we can to the coast, the land and the hut with the Zodiacs. And that is pret­ty clo­se and impres­si­ve. Ice, Ade­lie pen­gu­ins, Cra­bea­ter seals. The sheer dis­play of power that is crea­ted in the inter­play bet­ween hea­vy ice and moving water is may­be the most impres­si­ve part of the who­le set­ting for me.

last modification: 2017-03-30 · copyright: Rolf Stange