King Edward Point Diary – July 2002

31 July, 2002

A busy month for boating

Midway through the winter fishing season, July has seen many vessels visit KEP to trans-ship catch onto large refrigerator vessels. Here, the krill trawler, In Sung Ho, is moored alongside the delightfully named, “reefer”, Saronic Breeze. Click on the image for a larger version.

The presence of these ships has meant a great deal of boating on our part – to support Marine Officer Richard, transfer Fisheries Observers and ferry science samples ashore. The perfect conditions on some days have made boating a real pleasure and provided some excellent photo opportunities, as Boatman Will demonstrates.

Not to be outdone by the commercial Big Boys, our own vessel, Quest, has taken to the water for a further set of quarterly Trammel nets. Local sea ice formation in the sheltered lee of King Edward Cove has meant some ice breaking for the intrepid fisher folk and nifty 3-Point turns from Will. However, when the sun shines and the sea is calm enough to retain your lunch, everyone can’t help but smile.

Artistic endeavours have also flourished this month. Will has restored an anchor and ship’s prop. These now flank the flagpole in a handsome fashion (when not covered with snow). Andy Smith painstakingly continues to restore an old boat engine for the museum and provided thermal assistance to free the anchor from some of its’ cumbersome chain.

The wildlife is not as conspicuous as in the summer months, but winter does provide a potential to see visitors less commonly encountered here. Leopard seals have cruised the bay in a malevolent fashion and hauled out to rest in front of base, oblivious to the excitement of the local paparazzi.

After a disappointing thaw earlier in the month, the snow and ice have returned with a vengeance as can be seen below top. Andy’s 6’2″ is dwarfed by drifts that nearly reach the roof to create a tunnel over the walkway (below bottom left). The view of the cove from the slopes of Duce shows how the point is separated from the whaling station by ice too thick for any of our boats.

In an attempt to get the VHF repeater to function, 75% of the Island’s population climbed the Duce ridge. Mast construction and electronics went well until the onset of true winter weather forced us down!