Sara Ramos, 21 Fevereiro 2018, Ilha Livigston
Fourth week down here couldn’t be better. Last Thursday 15th Feb we said bye to our bulgarian fellows and moved to the neighbour Spanish base Juan Carlos I, located about 20min by zodiac from our previous cosy bulgarian camp. Here we are lucky to be staying in brand new building, that was recently refurbished. Nowadays this place seems quite different than it used to be and now up to 50 people can sleep, eat, work and chill mainly in the same big building. The confort here is guaranteed and some refer this place as the “Antarctic Hotel”.
This week we had time to finish all the tasks scheduled on our plan and still had such a nice experiences exploring the area around.
First works on field consisted in flying a Phantom drone over the area covering the base in order to create cartography and digitl elevation models using the aerial photographies.
As soon as the weather conditions were good enough, we finally managed to go to “Glaciar Rocoso”, an infrequent rock glacier here which movements towards the coast needs to be annually monitored in order to figure out the progressive terrain deformations. There, we annually measure the GPS position of different sticks stacked in the rocky ground. These sticks work as reference points that allow calculating the progression of the glacier through time.
Sundays in the Spanish base are free days, so last sunny Sunday we made the most of the time exploring the glacier over the Jonshons’s Bay with the support of Mike and David, the expert “mountaineers” in the area. Walking here is risky as the massive accumulation of ice ends up in the cracking of the whole freeze structure generating crevasses that go from few centimetres to several meters thick and their deepness increase when approximating to the sea. To avoid falling in these dangerous crevasses, the use of crampons and walking in teams secured by ropes is a must.
The sight one’s sees from the inside of a glacier was something non-expectable for me at all, something alike a scarped and freeze dessert. However, I consider this as one of my best experiences in the mountain so far.
Finally, to put the icing on the cake, we were fortunate presence the most magnificent sun eclipses I’ve ever seen in the right moment and from the right place, as this eclipse was just blurry from the North Hemisphere but clearly viewed from the Antarctic Peninsula.
Today is Wednesday 21st and our time with the Spaniards is over. Tomorrow we are expecting to get on board of “The Hespérides” once more to leave the island and head Cierva Cove, in the Antarctic continent, where the Argentinians will host us in their beautiful “Primavera Base”.
DIÁRIOS DA CAMPANHA