After what seemed like ages, the two weeks after the training camp was finally over ! I couldn`t wait to get to Ushuaia, see everybody again and most importantly – set sail for Antarctica!
The few lazy days we spent in Ushuaia was fun, but we were anxious to start our expedition! Each morning we walked to the boat, trying to figure out what we were going to do. Most of the time our excitement was
short lived. We scrubbed the deck and polished the rails, the dishes needed washing, the winches needed repairing – there was always something that needed doing, even though we sometimes couldn`t understand why the windows needed to be washed while it was raining and we were freezing!
Finally we woke up one morning and at the breakfast table the rumour started . . . we were sailing that night! Within a matter of hours, our bags were packed, the last pair of boots were found, the keys handed in and we waved goodbye to the last form of civilization we would encounter on our trip. The rush of adventure helped to keep the cold out for a bit, but the sea sickness was unstoppable! Two days of being almost paralyzed – the less you move, the better it gets – and then it was over. Soon it was just getting up for your shift and then crawling into your sleeping bag as quickly and quietly as possible. One morning Henry and I started our early morning shift. He went down to get some coffee and I decided to stay in the pilot`s room.
I was just staring out of the window, it was just ocean as far as you can see! My day dreaming was interrupted by rain, so I shifted my attention and watched the rain falling, it looked so weird! It took me about ten minutes to realize that this funny rain was actually snow! I was extremely impressed with my first sighting of snow falling! Soon everybody was on deck, snowball fights followed and even a little snowman was created by the Captain.
I think the next morning – you lose your sense of time on board – we were woken up for our shift with very exciting news, `Iceberg ahead!´ Running upstairs, we could see them, very distant at first, but before we could even finish our Corn Flakes, they were everywhere! Seeing them rising out of the mist was strangely exciting, knowing that they meant that we were close was almost unbearable!
Seeing Trinity Island for the first time I never could have imagined it being so beautiful! We reached the Island and after a while we could finally get off the boat and set foot on Antarctica! I don`t think the goosebumps I felt had anything to do with the cold! It was just white and blue, penguins were walking, barely a meter from where we were standing, we where even lucky enough to see some seals. We got so close, we could touch them if we wanted to! The old house on the rocks, tells the tale of an expedition to the penguin Island a few years back. We might repair it if we have the time. Too soon it was back to the boat to prepare our gear for the base camp we`ll be setting up.
I can`t wait to upload my pictures and tell the stories attached, because my quick blog can`t do the beauty we`re experiencing justice. This is definitely something that has to be seen to be believed.