As an Arctic blizzard rages outside the festive season is in full swing inside the warm cocoon of Tara. We kicked off the celebrations last night with Vincent’s birthday. This party included a rousing performance by ‘Asterix and Obelix’ (aka Vincent and Herve LeGoff ) inspired by the fact that Herve LeGoff is called Asterix aboard (you can see why in the photos) to avoid confusion with our other Herve. Today the galley is a hive of activity as Marion and her helpers prepare tonight’s feast. On the menu; duck, roast potatoes and homemade hazelnut ice cream accompanied by a few bottles of fine French wine and the traditional Norwegian Christmas alcohol, Aquavit. Tomorrows programme includes a leg of Kiwi lamb followed by a long siesta!
Despite the gale force northwest winds, horizontal snow and a record breaking drift speed of 1.6kts overnight, the ice has refrozen solid around Tara and we are still about 50km away from the ice edge and open water. Although we can hear some slight sounds of ice compression and Tara as taken on a two degree list to starboard, we are hopeful that the ice will remain stable until after the New Year celebrations. As for the first port of call, this remains a topic of constant debate. Longyearbyen or Reykjavik? Nobody knows. For now we continue to drift approximately parallel to the ice edge towards Iceland. At least one thing is sure, with all of the snow accumulating on deck during this storm we will have some much needed digging exercise after the holiday feasts.
From the land of Santa Claus we all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!