27th February

It’s a week tonight since we left Hobart and although time has flown, it seems a lifetime ago too. The sea got very rough last night ( 5 metre swells ) so everything that isn’t stowed away carefully goes flying across the room. The chairs in the dining room all have wires underneath them with clips attached, so they can be anchored to the floor when its rough. All the benches and tables have rubbery blue cloth to stops things slipping, and we are still staggering around like drunks. Sometimes the ship hits a wave with such force that it feels as though we’ve hit a rock. But the very exciting thing that happened today was that we passed our first iceberg, a huge thing, about as big as a ten story building, in the shape of a crouching lion. After we first saw it, it took about two hours to get level with it, and we passed quite close, about a kilometre away. The shape and colour was very beautiful and the base was like an icy beach. As the waves washed against the beach they turned pale turquoise, with white foam laced through. We stood on the top deck photographing and it was freezing in the howling wind. Anyway, I’d better go to bed, I had a big headache today so I need to rest. Shipboard life is so busy.

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.