4th December: Signy Island


Signy felt like the last conceivable outpost of mankind. Pirate, craggy needles of island covered in weird wildlife that snort and fart at you as though you have no right to be there. And in fact there hasn’t been anybody here (apart from scientists intermittently) since the whalers left a 100 years ago.

After a day delivering supplies and looking at the elephant seals, we again board our incongruously cheerful-red ship. Before reaching the ocean though we have to thread our way through the most incredible field of icebergs. The colours look like someone has messed with the RGB settings in your eyes. They vary in size from a small crofter’s cottage bobbing though the swell to huge slabs of South London housing-estate eight stories high. Some were standard snow white, some smaller bits are see-through (like huge lumps of ice from the fridge) and then there are the blues ones that seem to be glowing from the inside with a weird synthetic blue light. They vary from off-white Styrofoam blue, to a sullen brooding dark-blue – lurking with 90% below the surface.

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