Posts Tagged ‘Bouvet Island’

Off Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

S 54°24’30” E 003°18’24”

 More than a week at sea, and we now have our first sight of land. Bouvet Island hangs shrouded in mist to port, a dark mass streaked with glaciers running steeply into the sea; we see only the first hundred meters of her height before the cloud conceals the rest.  Sea temperature is 1°C, with the air varying between plus and minus one.  We feel isolated, small, insignificant, a toy boat bobbing on the waves, our warmth an intrusion soon to be sapped by the damp cold.  Bouvet stands resolute in its reputation – this is truly the most remote place on planet Earth.  For a thousand nautical miles in any direction, there is nothing but the cold sea.  Yet, as we emerge at dawn, we are greeted with the greatest richness of life we have seen since sailing from Table Bay.  Birds, numbering easily in the hundreds, continuously circle the ship.  Seals and penguins pass in vast groups, investigating this red-and-white intruder as they head out to sea to feed. There is a vibrancy, a richness, a fervour to the place than cannot be denied.  It is as if nature perceives desolation, chuckles, and in defiance births life abundant.  (more…)