...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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the move again... and close to home

Although the ship is on the move again and heading for her ultimate destination, a couple of days ago, this was the status...

POSITION:  62° 26' S, 86° 28' E
Distance in the last 24 hours:  10.4 nm
Air temperature:  -4 deg c
Sea temperature:   -1.6 deg c
Heading:  Vessel parked in ice
Distance to next waypoint:  424 nm to Davis

The Aurora Australis has been ‘parked’ in the ice for around 3 days now. While the Sea-ice scientists, Meteorology, Communications, Aviation and Voyage Management teams have been flat chat, how have the majority of expeditioners been spending their days? Dave, a head-office employee undertaking a ‘familiarisation’ trip offered the following observations... Firstly, parked literally means parked – the ship was driven into a large flat ice floe a number of times until a short channel had been eked out and she was secure with ice all around her save the 50m track back to the open water. The ice floe we are temporarily calling home is about 7 kilometres across. The surface is like a frozen choppy ocean – think the top of a lemon meringue pie! Since the engines were stopped we have been very slowly drifting as one with the ice floe and the whim of current and weather. We have gracefully, albeit slowly, glided past icebergs with huge keels and big sail areas that create a gradual changing outlook.The ‘average’ expeditioner might get up and go to the gym for a while before breakfast and then spend the morning helping out in the galley peeling spuds, checking emails or doing personal chores such as washing. After lunch, served between 11.30 and 12.30 it might be a field-training session, more planning for your season’s activities, a game of cards, or stretching the legs on the helideck in the sun. Dinner starts at 5.30pm and is normally followed by a seminar in the theatrette that most go along to. A stream of movies is then played long into the night by those having trouble sleeping in what has become less than a 5 hour night. The lengthening days mean the sunsets have become long too and many have been up on the bridge or monkey deck (the deck above the bridge) trying to capture the 'moment' which ends up being an hour of magical and ever changing light. Sunday's sunset saw the first solar pillar which should feature in many of the pics sent home to family and friends.

This post is direct from the sitrep as I felt it worthy to share in full.  For more sitreps, visit the AAD website... it is packed full of interesting information about Antarctica.

I can't wait for Justin to reach the base and be able to send photos of the journey.  I am sure they will make great viewing here on the blog! 

In addition, if there is anything that you would like to ask Justin, just send me the question and I will forward on to him for answering. 

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