22nd March

It’s a pretty boring old diary tonight I’m sorry to say, no more bumps, though my bruises are starting to look spectacular. The ship has been steaming along all day in calm seas, in fact the sea was calm enough for us to have our porthole right open, and the air flowing in felt beautiful. I spent some time this afternoon taking photographs of Caroline’s toy plastic scuba diver swinging in the porthole, so you can see there are always plenty of ways to waste time if you want to. I did get a lot of work done too, no more birthdays, but I had to do an illustration for the ship’s log and luckily I nailed it, a nice mix of photo and watercolour pencil of the Aurora in the blizzard at Mawson. It’s always nerve wracking when you have to do something on the spot in case it turns out badly. The other job I’ve been working on is the voyage T-shirt which has to be at the printer’s in Hobart by email tomorrow night. Luckily Ken, one of the crew, is fantastic at computer graphics, so he’s been doing all the hard stuff. This afternoon I took my boots and gaiters to get cleaned and checked for seeds before going ashore at Macquarie Island and my gaiters were full of horse hair and grass seeds. It would be terrible to introduce a feral plant to this beautiful island, although it seems it is infested with rabbits that eat everything. Bye for now, I’ll try and have some more exciting news tomorrow,

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.