— Dane Creek

Day 4b: We’re Moving!!!

(This is part of a series of re-posts from my trip to Antarctica in 2009)

After far too much waiting (1.5 years worth) we are finally on the move. The boat, Ocean Nova, is a converted ferry boat. It’s great fun to walk up and down the little corridors. Our three person room is a total score. It’s HUGE by comparison to the other 2 berth units. I’ve got a top bunk, Paul’s got the other, and Steve has one of the lower bunks. The other lower bunk is a permanent couch for us and right now Minky is sitting on it relaxing. I hope he took his seasickness medications.

After getting on the boat we had a quick tour and then convened in the Panorama Lounge for staff and crew introductions as well as a safety discussion. I have 95% of it on video, but you’ll have to wait until I’m back to see there. Just one segment would cost $11,530 to upload at the current data pricing, and likely wouldn’t finish until I’m back in Seattle! Two of the Quark expedition folks are from Vancouver Island and do marine/bird science in the Canadian summer up north, then come down here in the winter. All the service staff in the dining room are from places like Honduras and work these trips until March, then get a month at home, then turn around and work trips to the Arctic. Wow!

Dinner tonight was empanadas, lobster bisque, choice of pan fried filet of barramundi (fish) or smoked steamed kassler (ham) or vegetable lasagna, and chocolate cake for dessert. I had the fish and it was vastly overcooked but still tasty.

I shared the table with a couple from Hamilton that I’ve chatted with a few times and are nice. We sat down with three other guys, and it was a bad mistake. Two of the three were grumpy and bitched constantly about the quality of the wine on the ship. I will make sure never to sit at the same table as them again. Blah.

After much trial and error those of us with GPS trackers seem to have found two places in the Panorama lounge that get adequate reception. It seems to vary which point is best depending on where they’re at, but I’ve labeled both places with “GPS Corner” signs and they are taped down in anticipation of the Drake Passage.

Speaking of the Drake Passage our ETA for entering it is at midnight. According to our expedition leader the weather report calls for 25 knot winds which are supposed to not too bad. But then they followed that up by reminding us that the captain laughs at everyone who has a scopolamine patch on.

They just came onto the intercom to remind us to secure all valuables before going to bed and to “always keep one hand free for the ship”. Hmm. That’s the third reminder about that today.

At any rate I’m just wrapping up copying a bunch of videos to the backup drives and then I’m going to head down to the room to get the lappie charged up for tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t be seasick!