Given optimal ice conditions, we aim to sail south of the Antarctic Circle. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place,
providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic scientists and researchers.
This far south, we are always at the mercy of prevailing ice conditions. Years of experience pushing this far to the south, indicates that late February gives us our best chance of reaching Marguerite Bay.
We may take the ‘shortcut’, through a narrow channel known as 'the Gullet' if the passage is ice-free. Otherwise, we could navigate around the outside of Adelaide Island - which will take more time, yet bring us to the same destination.
Marguerite Bay is home to several important science bases - Rothera (UK), San Martin (Argentina), Carvajal (Chile). We hope to make a visit to at least one of these locations. The area is full of history and the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE) of the early 1930s - led by intrepid Australian explorer, John Rymill, established their southern base in this area. They explored and surveyed large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula by airplane, establishing the Antarctic Peninsula was indeed connected to the main continental landmass - and not just a series of offshore islands as earlier believed.