27th March

I’m so tired I can hardly write but I have had a fantastic day. Started off helping unpack a container of frozen food into palettes the helicopters can lift, so that wasn’t very exciting, but good to be useful. After that we jumped into the Zodiacs and went ashore, met up with Georgie and some others and headed off for a long walk, south along the beach to the The Nuggets, two big rocks a few kilometres away. The first thing we saw was a huge dead elephant seal, with skuas and giant petrels feeding on it, strutting and screaming at each other, and blood all over them. One white giant petrel looked macabre with a completely scarlet neck and head. Next we came to a colony of king penguins, and they are very curious, unafraid birds, if you sit down they come right up to you, and its lovely to be able to see their beautiful plumage close up. The beach was loose and shingled, with rocky headlands to clamber over, and piles of elephant seals to skirt around, with waves crashing in from the other side. We came to Royal Penguin colony ( it’s them that have the rookeries way up high ) and watched them milling together, though the King Penguins kept getting in the way. We had delicious cheese and salami sandwiches ( and an Easter egg, thank you easter bunny for coming so far ) at the nuggets, then heading back into a freezing wind. When we were nearly home Peter, who knows the island, took a few of us on a detour, up a rocky gully so steep that in places there were steel ladders set into the rock, and on to the top of the island. It was misty and very cold, and the ground wet and spongy, but as we walked along the mist lifted and we could see small lakes in the distance. The wind was nearly blowing us over but it was fun walking fast down the hillside. Now I’ve had a shower and I’m ready for bed.

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.