Ever at sea

With the exception of an afternoon in the Orcadas, we=B9ve been at sea for 5days, it feels like 2.

I was surprised it=B9s been this long, it=B9s just a blur of meals, bird sightings and ice flowing by. Thank goodness this is such a comfortable ship, normally cabin fever would be spreading faster than H1N1, but the numerous public areas, inspiring lecture staff and calm company has kept it well at bay. Last night we were half way from the Orcadas to Elephant Island, and this morning that situation didn=B9t change. We ended up getting into 10/10ths ice and had to head north to get out of the ice, It was clogged. We were barely moving at 1 knot and the entire night the ship was echoing with the sounds of ice scraping and bumping against the hull, the ship jerking and twitching many times a minute.

For some reason I couldn=B9t get to sleep, so I decided to do a time-lapse of the ship moving in the ice. I head up to top deck, set up my tripod that wa= s secured to the deck with a quick grip I got from home depot, and a shower cap from the hotel around the camera to protect if from the elements. It wa= s cold and foggy, but it=B9s twilight at 1 am, while we are not far south enoug= h for complete daylight, we never have complete darkness this time of year. The time-lapse is interesting as it really hit home how the sea ice was throbbing and ever moving, but down at our normal scale it looks almost stationary. I meander around the bridge, stare at the radar cluttered with ice, peer at the GPS and navigational charts sadly and head up to collect my camera afte= r leaving it alone for half an hour.

I decide to scout the ship for more suitable shots, when I come across the bar where *ahem* individuals with less to do find other ways to occupy such large expanses of sea time. I was lucky enough to arrive in time to witness someone casually throw up on their leg as I casually make a note of what pants they were wearing, prepared to make sure they don=B9t wear the same one= s the next day. It=B9s not like it was rough, the sea ice dampens the swell and waves.=20 With all the bumping and scraping I find that suddenly half the ship is awake, wandering around like zombie bananas with their yellow quark parkas, leaning over the railings and staring down at ice and bumping around the bridge, It feels like morning but it=B9s still the middle of the night. I decide to pack it in fully expecting Elephant Island to still be a hundred nautical miles away in the morning. And it was, we barely moved but later in the morning we could see a break i= n the ice, I abandoned my oatmeal with cinnamon, yoghurt, cashews, and dates with my egg white omelette and gathered on the outer decks with everyone in anticipation of finally breaking free! We now expect to see Elephant Island later tonight, and will steam as fast as we can to hopefully get a =B3continental=B2 landing in Antarctica before we have to end this trip.