26th February

Hi everyone, its late on Saturday night and I am wide awake, having slept all afternoon. I made the mistake of laying on my bed after lunch, and this ship, it rocks you like a baby. I didn’t wake up until dinner time, 5.30. This morning we had our first muster, or fire drill, where we had to put on all our polar clothing and life jackets and go to the helideck, the big space at the back of the ship. Everything on the ship has a different name; the floor is the deck and the walls are the bulkheads. We have reached an area in the southern ocean called the convergence, where the cold polar water meets the warmer currents, and the temperature has dropped a couple of degrees. The mate Peter Petroff was busy today so the description of the top layer will have to wait until 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.