Irresistible Brown Bluff

I went to the most amazing place.  Brown Bluff is on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula proper  ( that makes this a continental landing).  It is famed for soaring brown cliffs and one of the northern most  colonies of Adelie penguins. Adelies are climate change losers and there northern colonies tend to be shrinking with rising temperatures and increased rain.  Brown Bluff is a favored spot  for tour ships due to the dramatic scenery and idyllic Antarctic Sound surrounding it.  This year the ice conditions have been challenging, blocking many of the ships from reaching Brown Bluff (or even entering the Antarctic Sound).

The crew of the HMS Protector  really liked the idea of a British ship helping a Norwegian  ship get  somewhere in the ice….the 100 year old rivalry of Scott and Amundsen is still alive and strong.   The crew delighted in informing the Fram that we are a proper ice breaker  and offered to  guide the Fram safely into Brown Bluff.   Since it was such a spectacular day, the Fram accepted immediately.

It took a rather long time to get out of the ice.  The Fram got stuck and we had to go  “cut” her out.  That involved going at a fairly good clip though the ice towards her  and then doing what can only be described as a  “hockey stop turn”.  The Captain  rapidly swung the ship around so that our stern passed within 60 yards of the Fram’s bow.  Thankfully  he waited until after the move had been successfully completed (on the first attempt) to tell us that he has never done that move outside of  a simulator training class he took two years ago!  I was really glad that they had practiced close maneuvers our first day at sea!

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