Jan's Antarctica Adventure 2007-8 travel blog


Sunrise 0413, Sunset 2227

Today we awoke to the sad news that Sir Edmund Hillary had died. He is probably most famous for being the first man to climb to the top of Mt Everest, but he was also involved heavily in the Antarctic and many of the crew had met him, or worked with him, and admired his endeavours.

I was trying to think how best to describe to people how cold it was in Antarctica. It's really not that cold until you get below the Antarctic Convergence. Imagine putting your hand in a freezer and leaving it there for eight hours. I dressed accordingly. I had three pairs of socks from normal socks, thick socks and thermal socks, three layers of pants - thermal pants, tracksuit pants plus waterproof overpants, thermal long sleeve top, plus two more layers on top plus insulated coat (the red one) supplied by Orion, ear warmer band, hat and the coat hat that could be pulled up over your heard, two pairs of gloves - one a thin insulated layer, plus outer gloves. I certainly wasn't cold during the day, but on Cape Denison when you were up at Land's End and not so protected or when the sun went lower in the sky late in the day, the temp dropped significantly and you could feel the cold creeping inside your skin. Polaroid sunglasses are a must, not just for reflective light from the snow, but also to keep the wind out of your eyes. I felt a bit like Michelin Man with all those layers on.

It was pretty quiet on board today, mostly because no one had got much sleep the night before. The waves were up to 7.5m so you might image how we tossed around on the sea (stabilisers or not). Occasionally the boated tiled to starboard and our window disappeared into the sea. Whilst it was unpleasant for 24 hours, I see it as all part of the experience.



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