16th March

Another amazing day, steaming through ice, big chunky bits that go BONG, other pieces so big that they tilt the ship slightly as they slip underneath her. The icebergs we passed today are sculptured and craggy, worn that way by the sun, waves and wind that have shaped them all summer. We had a ceremony today to celebrate crossing the Antarctic circle ( delayed due to bad weather ) where we had to bow to King Neptune, have a nasty mixture like porridge tipped on our heads, then kiss a stinky old fish head. It was very nice to have a hot shower afterwards. This evening we had a barbeque on the trawl deck, the deck closest to water level. It was very cold, minus 9, so standing next to the barbeque was a good idea. Broken chunks of bergs swooshed past the ship and the sun went down in a swirl of red on the horizon, with a massive carved iceberg beside it, red swirls reflecting in the water.

Other items

21st February

Its about 5.00 pm on my first day at sea. We are 200 nautical miles south-west of Hobart in fairly calm seas. I’m still finding my sea legs but haven’t been sick. The anti-seasick tablets make me very sleepy and I had a delicious sleep last night, feeling snug and safe in my bunk as the ship crashed through the sea.

22nd February

Ít doesn’t really feel as though I’m on my way to Antarctica. It feels more like I am on a floating health farm, fabulous food, great gym, no stresses or worries. It has been foggy all day today with calm seas but even so I am very careful about going on deck. It’s such a big ocean that I can’t help imagining how terrible it would be to fall overboard. I watched shearwaters ( mutton birds ) flying around the ship yesterday.