Two Steps Forward

It’s a bit disconcerting to look out my porthole and see the ship moving backwards. We’re in thick ice now and it’s not easy to find a path through. A little while ago this ship came to a halt on quite a tilt and now you can really feel the engines working. Jacky from the down the hall, who’s champing at the bit to arrive, said “Oh for God’s sake, this is meant to be an icebreaker! Break the ice!” But it’s very slow going today. Plus the low visibility and thick ice mean less chances of sighting wildlife. We saw several rare Ross Seals (and pups) yesterday and a few penguins, but there hasn’t been much creature spotting this morning.

Instead we’ve been learning knots, lashing our survival bags to the upturned chairs in the mess. If you need a truckie’s knot, I’m your gal. Except a strange thing happens with knots. You tie them five times in a row and you reckon you’ve nailed it. And then you turn around or face the other way and suddenly you’re standing there with two limp ends of rope in your hands and no idea how to proceed. The teacher said if you think you’ve got it, try it behind your back, or with your eyes closed, or with gloves on, or in the cold, or all of the above.

Lunch, in case we’re in danger of fading away from hunger, is pork spare ribs, sausage rolls, vegetable rolls, homemade tomato sauce, quiche Lorraine, fries, broccoli in herb butter and baby carrots. That’s just the hot lunch. There’s a full salad bar, soup and rolls. And the window of sin is open with four or five desserts.

It’s a lot to put up with. And then it’s off to play with the helicopters this afternoon.

 

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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 Two Steps Forward

  1. linnie says:

    Hubby does those truckies’ knots… I don’t… I’ve never figured it out. Was thinking of you last night while we watched Frozen Planet… Seals, penguins, polar bears… lots of ice… and icy cold water…
    Helicopters…. that will be an amazing jaunt over white, white, white… I think I’d best stay offline for a while… I seem to be first to reply to way too many blogs… oops… 🙂

  2. Madeline Shaw says:

    Hi Jesse I’m really enjoying reading your fantastic blog…We will be studying Antarctica in an International Issues class in a few weeks so will be getting the students to have a look and follow your journey. Looking forward to the next instalment ..and the next menus!

    Love Madx

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