BELARE 2006/2007 - The tension is mounting

The Coast party too has a sleepless night. They land towards the west end of Breid Bay, where the ship is anchored offshore, around 2.30 in the morning. At 5.30 am Alain calls from Breid Bay to give the position of the Coast Camp. He has been scouting around and there are numerous ice cliffs on which the ship could eventually unload. He will go and survey them and check height and access conditions from the sea.

However, the situation quickly deteriorates. The cliffs are too high and the captain moves off as the weather changes, to try to find another unloading site. Alain follows along the Coast to try and identify likely sites. Meanwhile at the camp, some of the equipment malfunctions, and they are with out the stove and therefore drinking water. The tension is mounting as the solution slips away. The Ship's Captain is in a hurry to head home. Another cargo awaits in Cape Town. The situation is still not clear. Can they be persuaded to ride out the storm? Do we look for an alternative unloading site at 5° East or Novo? A quick phone call to Vasily in Cape Town establishes that the Novo ice shelf is 20km long still and no unloading is possible. The Norwegians offer their help if necessary.

At the Base Camp, the wind picks up during the night and demolishes our toilet facilities. We congratulate ourselves on having secured everything else so well that there is no other damage.