Subject: Day 19, March – A Day at Sea Repositioning to the Falklands
As I said before it is easier to write to everyone in this group email as sending individual email is not like at home.
Diane, congratulations on your success at the March dog show. Thanks Judy for the local news and taking good care of Nikki. Sabrina, please tell Avery that Santa Claus does not live on the South Pole. Only scientists and people who support science live here year round.
We have met some amazing scientists on this trip, most of them having PhD’s in their chosen fields. Some come along on the ship sort of as field work, and to some it is like a working vacation. These are all people who have dedicated their life to science. One geologist who spoke today just spent 18 months in South Georgia working to save the albatross. Interesting how she came to collect rocks and now works to save birds. She has spent more than nine years in Antarctica. Her stories are amazing. She told us that when out in the field, you can expect to spend a third of the time inside a tent so small you cannot even stand up in it, due to the harsh weather conditions. She also helps free seals that have been trapped in fishing nets. We have learned that the seals have made such a miraculous come back from extinction that now the scientists wonder whether they need to cull out some of them. There are so many that the seals climb high up on the hills to find their own space and are accidentally damaging the albatross’s nests. I have fallen in love with this remarkable bird.
Last night after dinner, the bar was in full swing because we didn’t have to wake at the crack of dawn. There is a group of young men on board, and we had an opportunity to talk with them. They are from all over the world and entrepreneurs, mostly web page design and computer based businesses. Several of them are from Finland and Norway. I think I mentioned that these are the people at the top of every hill before I am out of the zodiac. Anyway, I asked them about the Shackleton hike. They all laughed and said it would have been easier if they had not been hung over, but basically it was just a “stroll in the park.” OK, but you must know that they have about 30 years on Tom and I. We have avoided telling our Elderhostel friends about their views of the hike.
We are now in the Scotia Sea heading for the Falkland Islands and the seas have really picked up. Last night we were sitting in the lounge, which is in the front of the fourth deck, and the waves were coming over the bow and smashing into the front port holes of the lounge. Quite a show.
More to follow,
Tom & Holly