...and his girl left behind. Justin Chambers is going to Antarctica as a chef, and leaving behind all that is normal, for a whole year. Together, but apart, we will document our experiences (well, he'll give me the info verbally and I will turn that in to a blog post!!) as we live in two quite different worlds for those 12 months.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's been a while

Which of course means that there is more to mention.  I haven't had the opportunity to update with limited internet access whilst in Hobart and returning to a busy household (all 2 of us!) on Friday with orders to get out and the market today to prepare for. 

Justin, Jo and Tony
The ship (not 'boat'), Aurora Australis, got away only minutes late on Thursday.  They were waiting for a French ship to leave the dock first, on its way to Antarctica also, before heading out to sea.  Justin and I got to say a very quick goodbye as it was suddenly sprung on all the expeditioners (not exhibitionists as I keep saying!) were told to say their goodbyes and head to the muster point, after which they were to head straight out the gate on to the wharf and board the ship. Once aboard, everyone was brought together to discuss procedures then they gathered their bags and made their way to their shared cabins.  Michelle, wife of Tony, the Summering chef, and I stood on the wharf for an hour and a half and waited for their departure.  The guys appeared out on deck where we could see them and from there we talked on the phone, waved to each other and took photos of one another.  
Justin, 3rd from left on lower deck

I was still okay at this point and even when the ship pulled away and Justin waved both arms for as long as I could still see the ship, everything was okay... we could still talk on the phone.  But as I was checking in to my airport hotel and the signal ran out, I was in tears at the reception desk as it suddenly hit home that that was that... reality really bites sometimes.  I phoned my big sister in tears and then let them all run down the plug hole in the shower.  I felt much better for it though and just looked forward to getting home. 

The Aurora Australis is now cruising... in a matter of speaking... the high seas, covering 218 nautical miles in the past 24 hours.  It has been rough going so far and according to today's update, it is going to get rougher still with 6.5m seas expected tomorrow.  Justin is finding it tough, and described it as being "on a ride in a theme park, the big dips leaving my stomach in my mouth".  And he has never liked theme park rides much!  It certainly doesn't help that he has also come down with a cold since boarding the ship... a double whammy.  I don't envy him one little bit since my stomach has not held up at all well on my sea adventures to date.

A worthy mention.... while we were in Hobart we had some lovely meals out, the two best when we were cooked for at friends' houses.  Thanks so much to both Noel and Sue, and Sandy and Bel for their gorgeous hospitality and equally gorgeous meals.  I look forward to a celebratory time in about 12 months when we can all get together again! 

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