NEWSLETTER NO. 22 - 24 JUNE 2008 - ROUND UP ON 2007/2008 SEASON
Well, reality arrived in April with a failed gearbox while on the last days of the April 1st to 14th Tierra del Fuego charter. To make a long story short, not only due to this rare mechanical failure in the first place, plus a UK shipping agent that completely dropped the ball on the airfreight of the replacement unit – the crew only received the new gearbox at the end of May! Consequently we had to cancel the last two end of season charters, a dark moment in an otherwise very full and satisfying season. All charter fees will be fully refunded to the clients (Ouch!) I might add that this is the first time in 20 years (since we began) that we have failed on a charter, so I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. . . but I again would like to apologize to my clients who have been inconvenienced.
After a stressful six weeks in Ushuaia, Pelagic Australis with skipper Stewart Richardson, first mate Jess Hay and crew Chris Harris from the Falklands are currently deadheading across the Atlantic for her annual refit and service in Cape Town. As you can imagine this was not an easy time for our crew, but they weathered it superbly according to our patient, but obviously disappointed guests.
Now on to the successes! The original Pelagic, with Alec Hazell and Giselle Botha, arrived in Cape Town beginning of May, direct in from South Georgia where she was on a two and half month contract to the South Georgia Government supporting the construction of an environmental boardwalk through the Great Wandering Albatross colony on Prion Island.
This controversial project will now allow tourists and visitors to land on the
island and passively remain on the structure rather than roaming at will in
amongst the nesting birds. Although this project was challenged by many South
Georgia stakeholders, the government’s alternative was to completely close the
island as the tourist numbers have increased to the extent that a solution had
to be found to help limit this impact. Having said that, the island will still
be closed annually from November 20th to January 7th due to breeding fur seals
that dominate the beachhead.
Next season is filling up fast, mainly with group charters for Pelagic Australis.
There are four individual places left on the February 09 Antarctic trip – all
other South Georgia and Antarctic cruises have been sold through February. For
experienced cold water divers, Amos Nauchom from Big Animals will be on board
Pelagic Australis conducting a 21 day bespoke dive charter from end of February
2009 in the Antarctic. One of the prime objectives is to dive with leopard seals
preying on penguin chicks. Contact me or Amos directly on
there are a few places left for this exciting dive excursion. More info at
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