The fog continued through the morning and we sat down by the windows with some books to wait. We were meant to approach around 2pm and I was checking my watch.
Closing in on 2pm it was a little brighter, there was more sea visible surrounding us, and then suddenly the fog had lifted and there was land! Tall snowy mountains with a large glacier pouring in between to the ocean, called the Endurance. We looked, and looked some more, I succumbed to the anti-seasickness pills and passed out on a lounge chair for a quick 20 minute snooze, and then went back to staring out across the water.
We saw Clarence Island off the coast of Elephant Island before the encroaching wall of fog swallowed us. We weren’t able to make it round the north end of the island, and so we missed seeing the memorial statue to Shackleton.
Travelling through this landscape in an enormous floating city with radar to guide us through the ice field made me wonder how the early explorers managed to navigate and survive the waves, the icebergs, and the solid snow cliffs and rocky peaks that suddenly erupted out of the clouds. Could they have imagined they were making way for budget mass tourism?
In further contrast to Shackleton’s expedition, we celebrated my mum’s birthday with a cake and a second dessert after dinner and came back to the cabin to find a bottle of champagne, a plate of fruit and a bowl of chocolates, plus chocolate-dipped marizipan roses that I had ordered as an extra treat.