“Confused 5-6 metre swell” SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

Our official sitrep today said “Confused 5-6 metre swell”, noting that a sleepless night was had by all. I asked Karen and Louise the forecasters about “confused” and they confirmed that it is a technical term, meaning that the sea is, as you would guess, all over the shop. But it’s been quite beautiful up on the bridge – dramatic seas, several large icebergs, showers of sleet and hail, then the sun coming out. I saw a mantled albatross and some prions. I’ve signed up for iceberg monitoring because I thought it would be cool to learn how to use a sextant (never know when it might be handy), but it turns out we’re going to use the ship’s radar to do the estimates instead and now I have to be on the bridge at 7am each day… Seemed like a good idea at the time.

The food on board is really fantastic – with a huge array of choices at every meal and heaps of fresh fruit and vegetables – but the universal appeal of fat and starch was confirmed when the pizza and pasta night tonight brought everyone out of the woodwork and the queue went right through the mess and almost into the corridor. Now the only tricky thing is staying awake till 7.30pm for the alcohol ration… I must say that going to bed early with a book is looking pretty damned appealing. Perhaps I could auction off my two beer ration?

I was feeling very cocky about having my sea legs and told the incoming station leader Ali that I was going off my seasick tablets and she smiled knowingly and said ‘Yeah, I’ve done that and I always go down in a screaming heap’. So I think I’ll keep taking them and enjoying the illusion that I’m a hardened old salty.

Happy birthday to my sister Flick for tomorrow – hope it’s a great one Flick.

Love Jesse xx

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About Jesse Blackadder

Living at the easternmost tip of Australia on the caldera of an extinct volcano, Jesse Blackadder is a novelist, freelance writer and Doctor of Creative Arts. She is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places and has published three adult novels and three novels for children.
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2 Responses to “Confused 5-6 metre swell” SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

  1. millerstreetmob says:

    Hi Jesse, great blog. Have been following voyage on the app. But this fills in the gaps. Our daughter Tessa Williams is on the ship on her way for the summer research season. Take care and enjoy your adventure.
    Mait & Jane.

  2. jenboau7 says:

    Hi Jesse,
    Hayley, Jen Megan and I were reading your latest blog this morning on our way to the beach. We were trying to visualise 5-6 metre swells by thinking of how tall we were or how high that would be compared to Hayleys house. The clincher came when we looked at the barely one metre surf at Bruns and thought of a swell six times that. OMG, talk about having to roll with the punches! I do hope you keep your sea legs firmly planted in the bunk wall or use your sea arms to brace yourself in any available doorways.
    I’m enjoying reading the sitreps on the app which you suggested to download and then comparing them to your much more enjoyable representations of the situation.
    Keep on rockin’
    Jen xx

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