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.