Life in Molchanov


We have just overcome the 60th parallel and the convergence line with Antarctica. Manel is collecting data on his GPS all around and on the way back we will have the exact positions on a map of what we have traveled. Great idea. We are officially in Antarctic waters. The wind is still 5-6, at gusts of 7.

Today I got up perfectly (biennnnnnnnnn !!). I don't know if the biodramines have already worked or I have managed to better assimilate the movement of the ship, but today I move like a fish in the water between the boat's bumps. I have had a strong breakfast, and I just ate perfectly. The food is varied and abundant (chicken, meat, esladas, fish, pasta ...). We have 2 chefs for travelers and food and water for 1 month. In addition the boat can purify water from the sea.

In the first hour we have made a visit to the top of the ship for Josep and Angela to smoke, while Manel took data with the GPS. I observe the boat's blows and the amount of petrels and albatrosses that are still with us. Is beautiful. The albatrosses are a family of large birds (of the largest there are) that are distributed throughout almost the entire extension of the Antarctic Ocean and the north Pacific Ocean. Petrels are also characteristic of cold seas (we are now at -1ºC).

Life in Molchanov has improved a bit, the temperature is ideal (you can walk in a short sleeve) and it no longer seems as ghost as yesterday, although it is still a dead ship. The panorama of the bar with the thrown chairs, the infirmary with everything on the floor or the rooms upstairs, is terrible. Angela is still very lively. Manel does not lose anything, is always with open eyes. Josep rehearses music from Mozart (who has promised us that he will sing among the penguins)

Today they made the first talks. The little we have uploaded have been able to attend the Command Bridge explanation. The Molchanov is a small ship, one of the smallest of passengers. The 20 Russian crew are missing. They tell us that there always has to be an officer both on the bridge (3 take turns every 4 hours), and in the machine room. They have their own chef. The penalty I have left is to hear that this ship, which has been sailing the waters for 30 years, is the last year that will make this route (they are running out of contract). It is an ideal expedition ship for the adventurer ... away from luxury cruises.

We are already "only" 14 hours of playing the Sheetland Islands, we will play them at dawn. There the depths will be 200 and 300 m, so we can begin to make contact with the first signs of Antarctic life. Right now we are still with depths of 2,000 to 3,000 m (!!! WOOOOW !!)

They affect us a lot on the issue of pollution, a logical thing. Do not throw anything, leave no remains, ect ... They also tell us that not everything is as beautiful as they paint it. As there is no territorial control, there are no "guardians" and there are scientists flying helicopters penguin colonies, or even marking them with paint. What beasts! What a pity!

Divertidisima and suffered has been the shower in the morning. Something like turning on the perola, and occasionally running the water through your head, so when it was gone you would shampoo it, and when it came back you would wet it, while with one hand you tried to stand. Anyway…

Right now I am sitting next to Josep at the bar, at a table pinned to the floor. The crunches of the boat when catching a wave are creepy. It seems he was going to split in half. Walking on the boat is a difficult arduous task, we have to go with both hands grabbed and supported on the walls. Leaving the boat is another experience, you have to wear thermal clothing, fleeces, hats, gloves ...

I definitely find myself perfectly, I can write without getting dizzy. I'm already adapted, although the waves attack us fiercely again ...

Saturday, December 5
16.03, in Antarctic waters. Drake step.
At 61º 03 W, 60º 53 S

Josep gets off the deck to let us know while Angela and I write !! We just saw the first mini-iceberg off the hook !! Is beautiful. What blue colors they leave. Angela takes the first picture.

I read in my travel notes, that a giant iceberg broke off a few years ago and posed a serious danger to the ships that cross Cape Horn, it was about 70km long and about 20km wide. Amazing. This same year it seems that another large one was found 45 km from New Zealand. This was little boy. Let's go up

More albaltros and petrels. What a waltz they have next to the ship, leaving an inn his silhouette on the air currents. Touching almost with its wings the powerful sea that surrounds us. It seems that the swirl of the propellers attracts them.

Saturday, December 5
22.15, near the South Shetland Islands
At 60 º 43 'W, 61º 05' S

Almost all Molchanov travelers are already in their cabins starting the last dream before the Antarctic dream. We resist, we are 6 Spaniards and 1 Belgian. We have just had dinner and we have climbed up to the Bridge of Command (in which you can enter whenever you want), There, the captain teaches us about the on-board computer the situation in which we find ourselves, 2 hours to see land for the first time. Some fishing boats appear on the radar, incredible. I know I repeat it a lot, but I am very very nervous. I had not been like this for years, so excited ...

The ship doesn't move that much anymore. We leave the Drake Pass behind and it seems that the worst has happened.

A while ago we were given the first talk about the landing on the beaches, the "landing". We have cleaned the outermost part of our garments to avoid contamination and have made an effort to explain that we are not "going for a walk" but that we are going to enter a place "inhospitable", almost "unexplored" and that the conditions can be "very adverse, "so the four layers (thermal, second layer, polar and external wind) will not be small. There will be places where we will do up to 3 hours of walking. I think we have had luck with the "leaders" as they seem very old and open to suggestions. Of course, they have a lot of sense of humor and spend the day spending jokes. "He who stays three times on land will invite drinks to the entire ship," haha. Well, I will try not to be left alone, surrounded by incredulous penguins watching me threatening because I have invaded the colony, and abandoned by the Molchanov ...

Anyway, I stop delirious and go to bed. 2 hours is a lot, so I will set the alarm at 6'00. There is less ...

Isaac from the South Shetland Islands (Antarctica)