It’s been a surreal two weeks on the ship coming back to Tasmania. This is my first experience of the Southern Ocean and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never been seasick before but wasn’t sure how I’d cope with the the might of the Southern Ocean. In fact I needn’t have worried, by usual standards we had a pretty gentle ride, only one cup of peppermint tea went sliding off the table the whole trip (sorry to Kim whose feet caught it).
Under normal circumstances I love being on the water and living on ships and the first night I was so excited I could hardly sleep. However, the novelty did wear off quite quickly! Don’t get me wrong there were some spectacular moments on the journey but for someone who often struggles to sit still for more than 5 minutes there wasn’t really a lot to do, it’s that experience of, the more confined you are the more you want to get out. Although I wasn’t at all sea sick (in fact I found it difficult to stop eating at all) the movement of the boat does make you feel a bit dopey and it’s hard to concentrate on anything like work! I did learn some new card games, washed helicopters, wandered the corridors, did some very wobbly yoga and exercises, played Monopoly for the first time in about 30 years, wandered the corridors and played so many games of darts I actually started to win some! The highlight has to be happening to be on the bridge one day when we passed through more pods of whales than we could count. Initially you could just see the odd spout of water in the distance but slowly more appeared and then they started jumping and rolling through the water all around us. This was the first time I’d ever seen whales and I think I was well and truly spoilt! And no sorry, I don’t have any pictures, it was more than enough just enjoy the spectacle. There were a few intrepid photographers on the deck but judging by the streaming eyes and horizontal beards they weren’t the most hospitable photographic conditions.
Like all long journeys as soon as we caught sight of Hobart on a very calm and sunny day, if felt like it was over in a flash. But after the title of this post I’m sure to feel the full might of the Southern Ocean if I am lucky enough to venture South again!