20th March

Sorry this is a bit late, but you’ll understand by the end of the email. This morning the sea was very rough, pitching and rolling, and I made the mistake of sitting at my computer in my windowless studio to do some work. Before I knew it I was feeling a bit queasy, so I took a sea sickness pill, went to bed and slept like a baby until mid-afternoon. It was still very rough and wild but I managed to get some work done by hanging on to the edge of the desk with one hand, and my water container with the other every time a big roll came. There weren’t too many at dinner, but it was Pepe’s birthday and I got to carry out the cake, candles blazing, on a big silver tray, pretty tricky with the floor going uphill and downhill all the time. Later I went to watch a video in the little video room, and while I was setting it up, a few monster swells hit. I was flung against the TV cupboard hard and before I could hang on to anything flung the other way, got caught up in chairs flying all over the place, fell over, got up again ( big mistake ) then shot the length of the room and bashed my head against the door. Boy, did I see stars, but I finally managed to sit down and hang on to a bench that wasn’t moving, until the worst of it passed. Keith ( the ranger for Macquarie Island ) appeared and helped me to my cabin, and Helen the doctor came and checked me out, and nothing too bad had happened. I slept like somebody who’d been hit over the head, and this morning feel fine, just sore bits everywhere. They told me on the bridge this morning that the biggest roll was 40 degrees. Gotta go, breakfast to get to.

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.