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Paradise Bay

Aggiornamento: 13 nov 2023

Paradise Harbor, Caughtrey Peninsula

Lat 64 ° 54.12; Long 062 ° 51.90'W

Back at sea, for a day full of adventures.

We set sail at 07:30h, calling the Ukrainian station by radio and still thanking the whole crew not only for their hospitality, but above all for the human warmth that, in the difficult moments we experienced, was of great comfort.

For the first time since we left Rio Dulce in Guatemala, our compass indicates a corner that does not have a Southern component and if you add to this that we have sailed for over 11,000 miles, over 20,000 kilometers, you will have an idea of ​​how far south is the South Pole!

We are heading to Paradise Harbor, a large basin enclosed between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Bryde and Lemaire Islands, universally described as one of the most beautiful areas of this side of the Peninsula.

It is only 40 miles away but to reach it we must cross the Lemaire Channel, which is always an unknown factor due to the constant presence of ice. We are immersed in a blue-gray world, in a soft light, almost as if the sun had placed a gigantic filter to make everything we have around us fabulous.

We do the usual slalom between giant Icebergs, but 4 miles from the north entrance of the canal, a stretch of small and large blocks of ice blocks the road. We have no alternative, we must try to continue.

Theoretically there is the option to circumnavigate the Canal, passing west of Booth Island through the Dannebrog archipelago, but the map states "UNSURVEYED" and after the experience of a few days ago, this option remains for me just a theoretical one. I prefer to do the icebreaker way.

I decide du put the dinghy in the water, I leave the helm to Ijri who in these weeks has shown to have a talent of helmsman and with Matteo armed with my fishing hook we proceed few meters in front of Angelique II, beginning our new task of "ice sweepers".

Wa hook the large blocksand drag them out of the trajectory of Angelique II. With the little block we use a different technique. I approach them in reverse gear, using the stern of the dinghy as a shovel snowplow, moving a large amount of ice.

We go on like this for about 3 hours until the Channel opens free in front of us. We continue as far as the exit of the Channel where we meet a slight breeze that allows us to hoist our full sail invemtory pushing us up to 7 knots to Ferguson Channel, access to Paradise Harbor. What a great feeling to watch Angelique II again fly free on the water.

My notes show an anchorage on the north shore of the Caoughtrey Peninsula, right next to the Argentina Brown Base. I approach the entrance totally surrounded by a large glacier. Depths decreases rapidly.

With the binoculars we identify a couple of people watching us from the base. I contact them by radio and ask for advice. They tell me that the minimum depth at low tide is about 1.5 meters and that yachts normally anchor in a bay south of the Base. Thank you for the advice, I do a 360 ° and I go in the direction of Skontorp Cove.

We anchor in 15 meters of water in a bay also surrounded by a glacier.

No wind, the surface of the sea as a mirror, we await the full moon and we enjoy this Paradise Bay, a definetively deserved name.

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