2nd March

After another night of blissful sleep, rocked in my bunk by the mighty sea, I woke up early and got up on deck in time to see the dawn, streaming golden rays in the east, and big tabular ( flat topped ) bergs silhouetted against the yellow sky. It had snowed overnight, so the deck was pretty slippery, but the sea is calm so it’s not so hard to get around. We are getting used to all the white and pale blues of icebergs so it was a surprise to see a green one close to the ship today. It was really dark green. They are called jade icebergs and it looked like a huge, smooth piece of jade, with white foam breaking over it. I think they are formed when the ice is a mixture of fresh and salt water. After lunch I saw a berg with a big black stripe through it; dirt that had been there since the ice was part of a glacier grinding slowly over the Antarctic land. Peter the Mate explained some of the instruments on the bridge that are used to steer the ship safely across the ocean. One screen has a high resolution satellite image showing the ice and clouds, another is a GPS tracking system, showing exactly where the ship is, ( one chart shows every track the Aurora has made since 1989 ) another shows all the environmental data, salinity, water temperature, fluorescence. There is so much data processed, all by computer, but just in case the power goes off and the batteries run out, there are old fashioned instruments too, like a little book called 'State of Sea' that has photos of sea and descriptions of the weather so you can tell if you are a Force 5 or a Force 6 gale. Better go, I am worn out, had to draw a car for one of the crew’s birthday today and it was very hard to make it look ok, a horse would have been much easier

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.