Friday, January 19, 2007

Antarctica Journal day6 - January 19, 2007

We 're outta here.

Everyone has a patch behind the left ear to help with the seasickness. It should be a 3 day crossing to Elephant Island. Everything must be secure and we have practiced how to move from the galley to our beds. I am lucky-knock on wood- because I never get seasick and unlucky because that means I have to take care of everyone else.

We almost had to abandon the trip yesterday when Dee spilled coffee on Jerome's computer. We need it for weather reports and email etc. Fortunately, Dr. John is on board. He took the whole thing apart and fixed it. Jerome says it works better now than it did before.

The wind is down to about 20mph gusts. As I write we are pulling away from the dock. Beaver Island is behind us along with two Giant Petrels diving in our wake. It is sunny but as I have learned in the last week, the weather here changes in seconds.

I checked this morning to make sure Norman's ashes were still tucked in my backpack. He would've loved this trip. Nearly eighty years ago he sailed from New York on a tall ship with the Byrd Expedition bound for the South Pole. I grew up on his stories of adventure. I can see why the southern oceans and Antarctic kept drawing him back. When a true adventurer is stuck in a life of mediocrity, paying bills, taxes, cleaning, etc., depression comes on fast. Norman's solution was to always have a new goal in hand. I see the same traits in Jerome.

Later…We are anchored at the last sheltered spot this side of Drake. The island to the right has at least a dozen guanacos (little South American camel dudes) watching from the hummocky dot of land. Jerome wants to wait a while longer for the wind to die. I'm definitely going to shore if we can. We passed a huge sea lion rookery with at least 10 beach master lions protecting the new born fuzzy black calves. I wonder if they stay here all winter.

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