We’ve been motoring since last night and have been on the open ocean all day today. The seas are at a few meters swell, and the ship’s now rolling 4-8 degrees from true in each direction (but with very little pitch). I’ve been fine with the rolling but Melinda’s using the patch to quell the early symptoms of sea sickness. She’s in good company – perhaps one-third of the passengers are sporting a little patch behind an ear. Today’s been the most rolling yet, and it was enough to keep more than a couple of passengers in their cabins at dinner time. The weather was clear and beautiful, though; we’re in for far worse seas before the trip is over, I hear.
The day was dotted with lectures on sea birds and South Georgia, most of which Melinda and I attended. We’ve learned that a lecture claiming “natural history” really should be read as “pictures”. South Georgia promises seals, penguins, albatross, exciting zodiac rides, rain, and a visit to a tiny village (Grytviken). The lecture room has no windows, which is great for projecting lectures, but kind of rough on those who’re being troubled by the motion of the ship. We spend some time cleaning our equipment because going ashore in South Georgia requires that all our gear be free of foreign plant and animal matter; they don’t want to introduce foreign species to the island. And, it was otherwise a pretty light day. We slept in until 7:30, we spent some time in the room, I took a few photos of a sunset, and we learned a lot about South Georgia. The rolling of the ship has prompted putting seasickness bags every two feet along all the railings in the hallways and the stairs. And some of the bags have gone missing. Someone saw a whale spout and some dolphins today but not a lot of marine mammals yet. We’ll get more of the tomorrow.
Tomorrow we move one time zone east, and the day after, in South Georgia, we move another further east, to leave us at -0100 GMT. We’ll get the sleeping time back as we head to the Antarctic Peninsula.
When I stepped outside for the sunset photos I could see my breath and my hands were uncomfortably cold (that, most likely from the wind chill). We don’t yet have a good read on the South Georgia weather but we’re expecting it’ll be in the mid-30s to low-40s and likely with some rain. The ship’s laundry is cleaning another load of clothes for us, but we’ll soon be tapping the cold-weather gear.