Running to Davis

We didn’t move much in the night, though there was an awful lot of engine activity and shuddering and thumping and inching backwards and forwards and side to side, so it wasn’t the soundest sleep. We’re in thick pack ice with a heavy layer of snow on the top and that makes it very hard going for the ship. We’ve progressed only 32 nautical miles in the past 24 hours. Our ETA at Davis (which was supposed to be today) is indeterminate at the moment – also because there is a Russian icebreaker nearby stuck like we are, so it’s possible we may need to give them assistance. Though it’s hard to imagine what help we could provide.

Our iceberg obs are pretty easy at the moment – you can pretty much write ‘see previous’ at the allotted time.

But in the meantime, I’ve finally braved level F and discovered the ship’s gym. There’s a whole other world down there! People are in the gym, exercising! I got on the treadmill yesterday and set off – it was the weirdest sensation as it only takes a little bit of ship movement for you to suddenly be running uphill and then a moment later find yourself at the back of the treadmill and you have to hurry to catch up, and then suddenly you’re hurtling downhill at a great speed. The actual mechanism to change the incline is broken, so there’s just one setting – ship’s motion. Keeps you on your toes, I guess. Several people told me they ran on the treadmill on the first day at sea and were so seasick afterwards they’ve never been able to get back on it. I think the bike or the cross trainer will be a better bet if we ever get out of the ice.

I’ve decided I should do my bit and run to Davis on the treadmill. Six kilometers down, 494 (or something like that) to go. At the speed we’re going I might just beat the ship. With my usual well-balanced approach to life I’ve been to the gym twice in less than 24 hours and now have a fantasy of working out twice a day. Although I did notice it was a bit harder to make it up the 56 steps to the bridge. In fact it’s 63 steps from the gym to the bridge – I stumped all the way up in the middle of my workout to do the 7am icebergs. Had to have a croissant with breakfast to recover.

Revenge on Neptune is at 1pm in the mess today. Head shaving is involved, which seems to be by far the biggest Camp Quality fundraiser on the list. I think you can nominate a price for your own head and if someone will pay it, off with the locks.

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.
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