Shaken or stirred? SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

A pretty exciting night on board – or at least that’s one word for it. After wrapping up the hotly contested trivia quiz in the mess, we put our clocks back an hour and headed for bed. I did a lot of mucking around with my mattress, stuffing clothes and bags and things underneath to get a good slope away from the falling out side. I found a flimsy little strap attached to the bunk that I could have belted myself in with if I was a nine year old girl and not needing to turn over in the night. Tucked in, lights off, fell asleep I think, but woke a while later to some serious motion. I braced my feet on the wall and held on to my little strap for all I was worth. We must have been travelling in a different direction to the swells, because the boat started to roll dramatically from side to side as well as pitch back and forward and up and down.

Had it been night one or two it would have been a nightmare, but it was night six and I’ve got my sea legs, so it was actually quite thrilling, although the night did go on for a very long time. We’re still tossing about this morning – I keep slipping off the stool as I’m typing – and all the port holes on the mess level have heavy metal covers screwed over them, so you can’t see out but you can hear the ocean on the other side. My personal in-cabin weather forecaster reported that the winds got up to 50 knots around midnight and the swell was higher than predicted – I think Karen said it got to 7 metres or more. I feel like a real Southern Ocean sailor now. Just call me Kay Cottee.

And – we passed our first icebergs. One or two slipped by in the dark, but I went up on the bridge to look at the 8am one and it was a real beauty – not just a blob of ice but a fully fledged iceberg with two big…

Oh here we go. Now begins the search for ways to describe icebergs, which will probably occupy me for the rest of the trip. Two big… outcrops? Upcrops? Sticking up bits? (I hope my supervisor isn’t reading this. If you are, Gail, rest assured I’m saving all the good descriptions for the novel). And hints of that beautiful pale blue through the white.

Field training has been cancelled this morning, as has the emergency drill. All I need is the Sydney Morning Herald now…

Nice to know friends and family are reading my updates. Remember, I can’t actually see the blog (or facebook) as I don’t have internet access on the ship, so if you make comments I won’t read them for another ten days or so till I get to Davis.

Jesse xxx

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.
This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Shaken or stirred? SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

  1. linnie says:

    “that beautiful pale blue through the white” is what I most regret about never making it to the Antarctic…. I did see a wee glimpse of it when looking at some online images for Franz Josef or Fox Glacier, so perhaps I can cheat fate a bit and almost see “that beautiful pale blue through the white”… without the rocking and rolling that you are subject to 🙂 That would be delicious!!!

    I know you’re meant to sound like a fully-fledged Antarctic researcher type, for you great work, but just seeing the icebergs, with those undescribable bits, hearing the waves beyond the portholes, would be quite magic, and I’m guessing that,even if you did refer to them as ‘sticking out bits’ your readers would be moved, nonetheless! 🙂 Icebergs…. very cool, heh heeh!!! xxx

  2. Jane Camens says:

    Oh Jesse, take good care. That sounds a little too exciting for me. I get very sea sick. Have a brilliant adventure.

  3. ICB says:

    Would the skinny little strap be the one that’s there to hold the bedding in place when you put the bunk up (there’s actually two of them)?

    The bunks are installed athwart ships so you shouldn’t have to raise the outer edge – you will slide up and down the bunk. Stick a kit bag at the foot end of the bunk to wedge you in.

Comments are closed.