28th February

When I looked out my window this morning there were two icebergs on the horizon. The seas were pretty big overnight but today it was wild. We were steaming into the wind and 6 metre waves, but there were also big swells coming in from the side every now and again. I think they call it 'confused seas', anyway, it makes the ship rock hugely. Our biggest tilt today was 27 degrees and you really had to hang on. The crew have closed all the hatches on the dining room ( the mess ) portholes because they go underwater on every big roll and can break if the seas are too big. Peter the Mate gave me a tour of the upper deck after lunch, despite the crazy weather and showed me the radar, weather and satellite equipment and the compass, which has two iron balls on either side of it to compensate for the magnetic pull of the poles. The wind was so fierce that it was difficult to breath and I was frozen after a few minutes, but after we moved to the back of the deck, out of the wind, it was beautiful. The sun came through the clouds and turned the sea into a churning silver mirror. The ship lurched and rolled beneath us ( it feels a bit like riding a bucking horse ) and we watched an albatross sweep across the waves, with two massive icebergs as a backdrop. It feels as though we are approaching an ancient icy kingdom and the icebergs are sentinels guarding it. It snowed a tiny bit this morning.

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.