That’s how the weather today is described on the computer on the bridge. It’s about minus 8 degrees, and with a 10 knot wind, the temperature feels like minus 16 or so. I must say when I poked my head out on deck I didn’t think it felt that cold, but I’m doing GPS training this morning which has an outside component and I’m sure I’ll have a different idea about the weather after that.

But it made me wonder. “Bitterly” is a pretty strong word, and yet it can get far colder than that in Antarctica. I wonder what other words they use? And what temperatures they refer to. What would come next after “bitterly”? “Really really cold”? Freezing? (except it’s much colder than freezing). Numbingly? Bitingly? Scarily? Terrifyingly? Don’t-go-outdoors?

The computer also shows how much time before frostbite starts. At the moment it’s greater than 30 minutes. I guess that means for unprotected skin. Funnily enough, it also said greater than 30 minutes yesterday, when it was a lot warmer.

I’ll see if I can find out the adjectives the computer uses and will report back.

Thick snow-covered ice today, and the sky is grey. Karen and Louise showed me a satellite photo and pointed out where you could see the sea ice through the cloud – so there’s a chance of clear weather this afternoon when we get to that bit. They forecast sun for tomorrow. I said, oh that’s great, will be good for photography. But I think they forecast that because it was good for morale. They said it was an optimistic interpretation of the data, but at this stage of the voyage people needed a bit of optimism.

I’m learning a thing or two about weather forecasting…

Oops, I’m late for 9am iceberg obs. I thought I was late for the 7am obs, but when I got to the bridge this morning neither of the other 7am people were there. How slack, I thought, they’ve slept in. I did the obs and went downstairs, wondering why the mess was so empty and the crew was mopping the floors so close to breakfast time. Oh… it was me, duh, forgetting to do the last time change last night. We’re now six hours behind EST.


Jesse xxxx

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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1 Response to Bitterly cold SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

  1. Kathy Holder says:

    How many time zones do you pass through and which ones are they?

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