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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesAntarctic blog → Pos­ses­si­on Islands & Cape Hal­let – Febru­ary 23rd, 2017

Pos­ses­si­on Islands & Cape Hal­let – Febru­ary 23rd, 2017

Of cour­se the­re was a gro­wing urge to set foot on shore, but that had to wait for ano­ther while. We had been hoping for a Zodiac crui­se at the Pos­ses­si­on Islands, but it was defi­ni­te­ly too win­dy to ven­ture out into the small boats. But also from the ship the islands are a view not to be missed. Rug­ged coast­li­nes with cliffs and arches. On the nor­t­hern one of the two main islands, the famous James Clark Ross went ashore in 1841 to take the new land into pos­ses­si­on for his coun­try – hence the name.

»We found the shores of the main­land com­ple­te­ly cover­ed with ice pro­jec­ting into the sea, and the hea­vy surf along its edge for­ba­de any attempt to land upon it ; a strong tide car­ri­ed us rapidly along bet­ween this ice-bound coast and the islands among­st hea­vy mas­ses of ice, so that our situa­ti­on was for some time most cri­ti­cal; for all the exer­ti­ons our peo­p­le could use were insuf­fi­ci­ent to stem the tide. But taking advan­ta­ge of a nar­row ope­ning that appeared in the ice, the boats were pushed through it, and we got into an eddy under the lee of the lar­gest of the islands, and lan­ded on a beach of lar­ge loo­se stones and stran­ded mas­ses of ice. The wea­ther by this time had put on a most threa­tening appearance, the bree­ze was fres­hening fast, and the anxious cir­cum­s­tances under which we were pla­ced, tog­e­ther with the recal-flag fly­ing at the ship’s mas­thead, which I had orde­red Lieu­ten­ant Bird to hoist if neces­sa­ry, com­pel­led us to has­ten our ope­ra­ti­ons.

The cerem­o­ny of taking pos­ses­si­on of the­se new­ly-dis­co­ver­ed grounds, in the name of our Most Gra­cious Sove­reign, Queen Vic­to­ria, was imme­dia­te­ly pro­cee­ded with; and on plan­ting the flag of our coun­try amidst the hear­ty che­ers of our par­ty, we drank to the health, long life, and hap­pi­ness of Her Majes­ty and His Roy­al High­ness Prin­ce Albert. The island was named Pos­ses­si­on Island.«

You need to have the ner­ve to go ashore under such cir­cum­s­tances, when get­ting the­re and back invol­ves seve­ral miles rowing rather than a rapid zodiac ride powered by 60 hor­ses. Ross did have the ner­ve, we rather enjoy the views from the ship, a warm cup in the hand.

Gal­lery – Pos­ses­si­on Islands & Cape Hal­let – 23. Febru­ar 2017

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

Also Cape Hal­let does not want us ashore. The beach is blo­cked by ice and surf, quite simi­lar to Cape Ada­re. This tur­ned out not to be a bad thing at all. Not only were the impres­si­ons that we got from the drif­ting ice and the icy shores from Zodiac pro­ba­b­ly much bet­ter than would we would have seen in a deser­ted pen­gu­in colo­ny on a flat gra­vel pen­in­su­la, but we found an Emper­or pen­gu­in on a ber­gy bit.

He (or she) did not have any­thing to do but to enter­tain us for quite a while with dif­fe­rent poses. And as this had not yet been enough, he was then joi­n­ed by an Ade­lie pen­gu­in, making the size dif­fe­rence more than obvious. An Emper­or pen­gu­in within a few met­res, obser­ved for a good length of time from sea level – how good does it get! 🙂

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