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Published: February 25th 2016
The many men so beautiful
And they all dead did lie
And a thousand, thousand slimy things
Lived on and so did I.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Colridge, 1799
Deck 8 is an open platform - it’s windswept and exposed. It’s ideal for some jogging or for some small piece of solitude as hardly any one goes up there. I love being up high on the stormy seas with views across the rolling waves as the ship heaves up and down. The wild wind charging through the sky and battering the vessel – I love it! Gravity assisted running – just for a second I am flying!
My Antarctic antics are continuing! My little feathered friends are growing up fast, and the air is cooling down. The southern winter is fast approaching at these high latitudes, ice is drifting and the snow is starting to fall… Antarctica never ceases to amaze me… Regurgitated Projectiles…
The sun was shining through the large, tinted window on the starboard side as the growling sea smashed up against the hull of the vessel. I was nestled on a couch at
the foot of the spiral staircase in the Club Lounge, sipping on a Cappuccino and turning the pages of ‘The Last Viking, the Story of Roald Amundsen’… To my left was a young lady, taking a selfie whilst vomiting into a sick bag.
It was truly beautiful! Millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of technology have created this wonderful, yet baffling display of human behaviour! I hadn’t laughed that hard for quite a while, and I had no inclination to ask if she was OK, even though she looked like death.
I grew up before the generation that record all moments of their lives, so I don’t feel the need ever to photograph myself as vomit ejects from my mouth… Or other waste products exit my body – curious!
It was hilarious though. Odd, but really funny!
In her defence - it may have been a video? A Savage Beast Belgica antarctica
is a savage beast! The largest terrestrial predator on the Antarctic continent is ravenous and ferocious! It can be found prowling the deepest of moss beds and the smallest of meltwater pools stealthily waiting for
its next victims… The Wingless Midge is the only native terrestrial resident on the Antarctic mainland, it’s only about 6mm long and it is tough to spot. I had a spare hour or two at Damoy Point so I crawled around on my hands and knees with my noses to the ground in among the tiny patches of greenery – there they were. These tiny insects that have colonised a treacherous place… Most of these micro-critters go unnoticed due to the majesty of Antarctica’s dramatic scenery – most visitors don’t come to the Antarctic to see tiny insects… They were worth the crawl in the mud… The Monkey
We crossed the Antarctic Circle again. It was the Chinese year of the Monkey and we had yet another strange encounter with King Neptune and his slimy things (the Sea Creatures). There was a lot of sea-ice and the ship barely made it to that magic parallel. About 5 nautical miles beyond 66°33’S in the Matha Strait, we encountered fog and an expanse of frozen sea that the ship could not penetrate – it was an amazing sight – ice to the vanishing horizon – white on top
of white on top of white…
And now I’m back in Ushuaia after crossing waves on top of waves on top of waves…
The Drake was particularly grumpy… And in an hour or two I have to go back across it… Should be fun!
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