Sunrise 0357, Sunset 2142
Well, if I thought the sea was rough the other day, I ain't seen nothing yet. After we left the shelter of Macquarie Island we found ourselves heading out into the Great Southern Ocean. Wave swell has risen to 5.5 to 6 metres (classified as rough) and the boat is lurching and rocking all over the place. I feel like I have been on a giant rollercoaster for the past 24 hours. Just walking around the ship is proving challenging.
I thought I would share with you today life on board the ship. Breakfast is between 0700 - 0930, then there are a couple of lectures, lunch is between 1200 - 1330, then there is another lecture, Team Trivia is at 1630 -1700, the daily briefing between 1830 -1900, and then dinner from 1900. There are lots of things to do between times, including a gym, hairdresser, massage and beauty treatments, visiting the well-stocked library, or just hanging out in the lounge with a hot chocolate and reading a good book. There are 97 passengers and a team of Antarctica experts so there is always someone to talk to. You never go hungry and the meals are superb. Today's lecturers were really interesting - a talk on the biogeographic history of Antarctica, the history of Douglas Mawson, and the history of huskies in Antarctica. I really enjoyed the last one, given by Diana Patterson who is a former Station Leader at Mawson and ran with the dogs from Mawson Station to Point Kloa (350 kms) on one expedition. Huskies have played an important role in Antarctica, particularly in the early days of exploration - Amundsen had 97 Greenland huskies with him on his journey to be first to the South Pole (1910-12). They were used not just for sledging, but also for the morale of the men - each man was responsible for a team of dogs. Shackleton, Scott and Mawson all used dogs of varying numbers and breeds, but none more effectively than Amundsen. For environmental reasons the last huskies were removed from Antarctica in 1994.
There is now a competition running as to who will see the first iceberg, so we must be getting closer. I just looked out the window of my cabin, but you can't see much. We have at least another one day of rocking and rolling before we hit the calmer waters of Antarctica.