With only a few weeks left in our winter, our time is getting less and less to get out and about and experience the majestic Vestfold Hills. Armed with a chef, two electronic engineers and two plumbers, ‘VLZ Weddell’ set out on Friday to find seals, heights and a bit of R&R around Platcha.
After exploring all the nooks and crannies of Long Fjord, the field party was renamed to ‘VLZ No Weddell’ due to the lack of Weddell seals. Even Weddell Arm provided neither Weddells nor Arms, just a disappointed Hägglunds driver and bumped and bruised passengers. At least Platcha Hut welcomed us with open arms, a calm evening and lamb wraps.
On Saturday our party of five conquered the mighty peak of Stalker Hill, the highest point of the Vestfolds, at a height of 144 metres. We were able to see our whole universe from there, surrounded by icebergs, hills and the Antarctic plateau. We made our way back down via Lake Bisernoye, and were treated to frozen ice rapids and some bubble magic in the clear lake ice. No Weddell seals were found here either.
We woke to a cold and windy Sunday morning, with blowing snow from the plateau, reminding us Vestfolders of the great Antarctic beyond that encroaches our brown oasis. Apparently this was also one of the coldest days ever experienced in October, clocking −28.8°C. After making a detour to Bandit’s Hut, we were treated with a lone emperor penguin inspecting the traffic in Tryne Fjord.
A quick hike to Lichen Lake revealed very few lichens, and a mummified seal in Lichen Valley cheered at least one person up. ‘VLZ Dead Weddell’ departed for station and lo and behold, after three days two live Weddells were spotted hiding behind Zvuchnyy Island.
VLZ Weddell out.
Daleen (Technical Officer — Engineer)