18th March

Another incredible Antarctic day. This morning I got up early, 6.30am and went up on to the top deck to watch the sunrise. We were still in the bay, 3 km off casey, no swell at all, and it was -11 degrees outside. The sky in the east was streaked with yellow and it reflected gold on bits of unfrozen sea. In the west the sky was a soft pink, and as the sun rose it got stronger and stronger, with streaks of blue and grey through. The helicopters buzzed to shore and back all morning, delivering cargo and ferrying more people to the ship and then after lunch we began to move again. At first I couldn't work out why we were steaming straight towards Casey, but the ship turned in a big arc and blew its hooter, long and loud, to say good bye, and then we headed north through the ice. That will be our last look at the Antarctic continent, next stop Macquarie Island, in about five days. The sunset tonight was beautiful too, and as we waited for it I saw some emperor penguins and minke whales. We are still passing through chunky bergs that tip the ship slightly if we pass over them. Dinnertime is very different now, with about twenty extra people going home from Casey, we have to line up for the buffet , and all the tables are full. The food is still fabulous but there is less fresh stuff, as we've been away for almost a month now.

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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.