A twin otter flew over from Davis today to say hello and give our captain the lowdown on the best path to take through the ice. It’s 8.30pm on Monday night and we’re barrelling along through open water. You never know for sure what will happen with Antarctic travel, but it seems likely we’ve had our last dinner together on the boat and tomorrow this insular little world on the ship will come to an end with our arrival on station, with nearly everyone disembarking and beginning their new adventures at Davis and Mawson. Some first timers, some who’ve been down so many times they’ve lost count, tradies and boffins, and a tiny handful of round trippers like me. A small number of winterers will come back on the voyage, but it will be a very different energy to the nearly-full ship and the sense of anticipation and excitement that’s been evident on the way down.
I can’t help feeling a bit sad about our parting of ways, especially after Nick’s brilliant slide show this evening showing his cartoons from several Antarctic seasons. Look out Leunig. They were a great mixture of artistry and wit that gave me a hint of what it must be like to spend winter down here with a small group of people. Robyn Mundy, if you’re reading this, it was great to see you featured as a fairy who skipped around carrying cakes. And the cartoon of Gary pouncing on a penguin made me laugh out loud.
After sixteen days in this little bubble I feel a long way from the normal world. It’s been delicious.