Oceanwide Expeditions started her second Ross Sea voyage from Bluff, New-Zealand on 18 February
After having enjoyed Macquarie Islands, the vessel set course to the Ross Sea. Passengers had a successful landing at Cape Hallett, it was simply magnificent. Our vessel Ortelius then tried to get into Terra Nova Bay, but it was blocked by heavy ice. The vessel proceeded via Franklin and Beaufort Islands to Scott's Hut at Cape Evans. One of our passengers, the British musician Jake Wilson, made some music recordings in Scott's hut, which was a true tribute to Polar discoverer Scott and his men.
Expedition leader Greg Mortimer writes in his report of 04 March: "The Cape Evans experience was the best I have ever had in calm sunny cold conditions. We flew the helicopters around the flanks of Mount Erebus. Then across to the ice-edge, where we had a remarkable spectacle of walking along the ice edge with 50 or more Orca in constant procession, a few meters from us”.
On the same day we offered beautiful helicopter flights into the Dry Valleys. We then tried to go to Shackleton's Hut at Cape Royds but it was too windy. Another attempt will be made today, when we fly the helicopters to Scott Base for a visit before going back to Cape Royds for a second try at Shackleton’s Hut.
The Ross Sea voyage is a great adventure. We have seen extraordinary ice-conditions and travelled across several hundred nautical miles of pancake ice and fresh freeze. The Ross Sea voyages are with no doubt the most extreme exploratory trips of Oceanwide Expeditions ... with fantastic polar highlights!