My Antarctica
Log - Day #9...
February 11, 2006

At Sea

I can sum up the sensation of the boat ride last night by comparing it to a ride at an amusement park back at home…

The amusement park is Great America and the ride is The Revolution. On this ride people sit in a large boat. This boat then
swings back and forth, and back and forth. It starts off staying rather low to the ground and then it works its way up higher and
higher until it flips over entirely. When you are upside down, there is this long pause where you don’t know whether or not the
boat is going to flip entirely.

This is how the boat felt last night.

Sometimes it was a gentle back and forth motion. But then there would be a huge wave. We would go up…and then there would
be a long pause…and then the boat would go down (several times leaving your stomach up in the air). Maybe it had something to
do with the Dramamine but this movement didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I thought it was pretty fun.

I am up now. I woke up to a room that was again in a disaster state. Books and unopened soda cans were thrown across the room.
My suitcase toppled over and my clothes were all over. It’s only 7:40am. Nobody else is awake when. Once there are I will do
some tidying up.  


I went to a lecture today which was about Antarctic sled-dogs. One of the crew members (Chris) lived out here for a couple years
a bit over 30 years ago. He was telling us about his experience out here and showing us pictures.

One picture made me want a puppy sled-dog. Absolute cuteness.

Personally, I think it’s amazing that Chris is so normal as it would appear to me that after being in the conditions he was for so
long, a person could go severely cuckoo. Who knows…maybe he underwent a lot of therapy when he go home?

Before this lecture, I wasn’t entirely aware that sled-dogs even existed in Antarctica. I learned that the British Antarctic Survey
had brought them out and this went on for 50 years. Sadly, around the end of 1975 the doggies were more or less ‘fired’.
Motorized vehicles ended up taking their place. I would have originally thought that they would have just flown the Huskies to
other places for domestic purposed (i.e. being people’s pets). But I learned that I am either really naïve or really ignorant as this
was not the case. The majority of them were shot to death to put them out of their future misery. The ones not shot were kept
around to breed in case the motorized vehicles didn’t work out (though they knew with almost complete certainty that this would
not happen).

It was so fascinating to hear a personal account of someone’s time living on Antarctica. I don’t think I will ever run across a
person who will have the stories that I got to hear about today. After seeing what they had to live on for many, many months at a
time (a selection of disgusting-sounding powdered foods), I will never complain again when I have to eat bread with Laughing
Cow cheese for a few days in a row.


After lunch, we had another ‘summary’ lecture of our trip. We were reminded of the sights we saw and the animals we got to view
each day. At the end, they showed us a CD with a selection of pictures that the crew took along the way. The one thing I couldn’t
grasp about this was that I spent 99% of my time bundled up from head-to-toe. I was so covered up that even a lot of my buddies
couldn’t tell who I was. But the ONE time that I am in a bikini running from the Antarctic waters is a picture that made its way to
the official photo CD. How is this right? I couldn’t have been out there for more than 20 seconds (and that includes the running
out there, dipping in, and running back) and that is what made it? I just don’t understand how this is possible. This definitely goes
against probability statistics.

We are back near land now cruising in between Chile and Argentina making our way back to Ushuaia. We are getting all of the
administrative stuff over with (i.e. paying bills, picking up luggage tags, etc.) and then I predict a bit of drinking will take place. I
think most people will be celebrating making it through last night!


I just got my passport back with an Antarctica stamp in it!!! It is sooo cute! Complete with a picture of a penguin. A Gentoo
penguin, to be exact. I am so proud of all that I have learned along the way.


I signed up for a field trip to the engine room. Why do I do this to myself??? It was hot and I nearly had a panic attack due to
claustrophobia. I managed to convince myself that I wouldn’t get stuck in there. So I survived. Plus the main engineer confirms
all beliefs that engineers aren’t people persons. I think he made a total of 5 seconds of eye contact with our group while telling us
about the engine room. I really didn’t learn much. I just heard a bunch of numbers being mumbled. Alicia just asked me how long
it was. I told her it felt like forever. In truth, I think it was 15 minutes or so.

I guess I can at least now say I’ve seen the engine room of a ship.

February 12, 2007 – 6:00am

Oh my God. Last night is one big blur. One big messy blur. I think I am still drunk right now. Maybe that’s because I got home
just two hours ago??? I remember some funny, crazy sh*t happening…but none that can be journaled in my ‘public’ journal. Holy

Here is what I can say…

It all started off so innocently. There was a cocktail reception once we got into Ushuaia. I drank my glass of champagne. Then
Alicia’s. Then Naama’s. I think that was when it all started.

We got rewarded our certificates for ‘swimming’ at Deception Island.

Then it was time for the auction. I tried to bid on something to be ‘part of the auction’. I soon found out that $20 for the penguin
hat was not going to cut things around here. It ended up being sold for $175. Ouch!

Then I drank a lot of wine at dinner. Then we moved to a bar in Ushuaia since we were free to roam into town. I had some beer.
Then a bit more beer. Then everybody else was at the bar. And this is where it all got a bit crazy.

I know that Ralph and I tried to go onto the bigger ship across from ours named the ‘Explorer II’. We tried to play dumb but they
didn’t let us much further than the entrance. Then we came back to our ship and I decided to play on the rope in the Forward
Lounge again for old time’s sake. The captain was in there this time, if I recall correctly. I did a pretty good job. At least I think so.

I have left out some entirely funny details. But it is better that way. It is time for me to take a shower now….
Back to Antarctica.
Chris (a crew member) who reminded
me of Richard Quest.
Hanging from a rope in the lounge.
Some of my buddies from the trip.