The first days of the New Year can be seen under the motto „patience“ and „waiting“. From New Year’s Day on, the crew on board the “Dagmar Aaen” had to hold out in the Chilean town Puerto Williams. Storms of up to 90 knots made leaving for Cape Horn impossible. Peter Sandmeyer and Harald Schmitt inevitably needed help from the navy to reach the cape at all – still they were on site making a documentary on the 400th anniversary of the cape for NG Deutschland. They are both now back in Germany; Micha Stockmann has also left the ship.
In exchange a new trio has joined us – Hartmut Schäfer and Rainer Kerzig are two experienced sailors who have been on earlier expeditions. Tim B. Frank is back again as well. Getting to the ship, however, it was necessary to remain patient. After landing in Ushuaia, the ferry to Puerto Williams stopped its surface at short notice and the trip was delayed in arriving on board the ship. Arved Fuchs and his crew were finally able to leave the harbor of Puerto Williams on Sunday. Destination – crossing the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula.
But during the crossing the conditions were again pretty bad and Fuchs decided to seek shelter in the Caletta Martial Bay. The bay belongs to a group of islands – the Hermiten Islands which lie 80 km south of Puerto Williams. The islands are named after the Dutch admiral Jacques L’Hermite.
This means waiting again. “The going was pretty rough” was Fuchs’ comment on the actual weather while the ship lay at anchor. The crew must wait for the right weather window. Had Fuchs risked heading out for the crossing on Monday, they would have run into a strong wind field coming from south-west just south of 60°. The weather data change every twelve hours. Fuchs is now going to wait until Friday to tackle with the Drake Passage.
Till then it’s a matter of getting weather and GRIB reports several times a day and studying Chilean weather charts (photo - © www.directmar.cl) ...