19th March

Today was a clear, sunny day, blue skies, flat seas and big white icebergs crouched on the horizon. The ship stopped at mid-morning to retrieve an ARP ( Acoustic Recording Package ) from the bottom of the ocean, three kilometres down. It's an underwater microphone, and had been dropped in a year ago to listen for whales. Today the technicians sent sonar pings which ran a current through and melted the wires holding it down, and it floated to the top. It took 90 minutes and we were all looking way out to sea for it when it popped up beside the ship. After lunch it was still sunny and even though the temperature was -4 degrees, it felt pretty warm, so we borrowed Katrina's ( she's one of the cooks ) green deck chairs and took photos of people pretending to sunbake in front of an iceberg. There was about 6 people lolling about in shorts or bikinis while I was taking the photos, and we were all laughing our heads off, it looked so funny. Kristian had his t-shirt tied on his head, as though he was really hot. After we'd finished, Keith noticed a huge ice berg coming so we got the chairs out and did it all again. I'll send you some photo when we get to Macquarie Island.

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.