ABOARD THE ALASKA EAGLE, off South Georgia Island — With 30 knots of wind behind us, Alaska Eagle was flying along at 11 knots. Suddenly we found ourselves in fog with 200 feet of visibility.
"Up for ice!" Peter called from the mast.
As we quickly turned toward the wind, a golf cart-sized chunk of glacier slid by to starboard. In clear weather, the ice is easy to spot by our four lookouts, but the fog now demands more attention; hitting a ton or two of a bit of iceberg can do serious damage.
We sailed out of Grytviken a few hours ago, after spending a day hiking and exploring since arriving at South Georgia from Cape Horn on Sunday. Our 1,150-mile passage to the island was smooth by Southern Ocean standards. We averaged 200 miles a day, reaching winds of 10 to 30 knots. We even experienced two days of clear weather before the Antarctic convergence announced its presence with a massive fog bank.