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FROSTY RECEPTION A penguin looks on as HMS Edinburgh sails in the South Atlantic
FROSTY RECEPTION A penguin looks on as HMS Edinburgh sails in the South Atlantic
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IN PORTSMOUTH, scores of relatives regularly pack the Round Tower to wave to Royal Navy warships.

But in the South Atlantic, sailors are welcomed by feathered friends.

Penguins looked on as HMS Edinburgh cruised through one of the most remote places on the planet.

After a nerve-wracking few days negotiating icebergs, the Portsmouth-based destroyer sailed south into the Antarctic Convergence Zone, where the warmer waters of the Atlantic meet those of the frozen continent.

The warship is on a six-month stint in the Southern Ocean, flying the flag for the UK in this cold, far-flung corner of the world.

The Edinburgh, which is in the company of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Black Rover, recently made the three-day passage from East Cove Military Port in the Falklands to King Edward Point on South Georgia.

Once in the confined waters of King Edward Cove, there was a chance to offload Hampshire soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment – known as The Tigers – for their cold weather training.

While The Tigers were doing their drills, the ship’s company got to know the local wildlife and scientists from the British Antarctic Survey who operate a research base at King Edward Point.

Edinburgh’s captain, Commander Paul Russell, said: ‘South Georgia is a unique and fragile environment. It needs protection in every sense of the word.

‘It was a great privilege to be able to experience one of the most naturally stunning and remote places on the planet.’