Today was a day at sea, making a transit from South Georgia Island to the South Orkneys. Seas continue to be strong with swells at times 2-3m and at times 4-5m. Melinda and I attended all the lectures scheduled: Joan spoke about one set of adventurers; Jim gave another installment to his seabirds talk; Nick said a bit about tagging and tracking seabirds; Rod gave some tips and showed photos for the Antarctic. Lectures were good, and it was a good way to pass time in the day. I’m feeling a bit at unease today, but I believe the scopolamine is helping. Melinda and I each looked through our photos for South Georgia and submitted them to the retrospective slide show for tomorrow night. I visited the bridge a few times, and with the late breakfast this morning, the day didn’t need much filling to come to an end.
The plan tomorrow is our first big departure from earlier plans. We’d been planning to land at the South Orkneys, but instead we’re going to pass it by. By skipping this landing we’ll give ourselves enough time to reach the pack ice in the Weddell Sea, and what trip to the Antarctic would be complete without seeing sea ice? Ted and other staff agree it’s a gamble – the pack ice could be fogged in, for example – but it’s worth taking rather than doing the safe option (South Orkneys) and seeing no ice. So, our new plan is to be at sea all day tomorrow and to reach the ice by Monday evening. This plan puts us on the peninsula about when we’d want to be, so we haven’t jeopardized the later parts of the plan. It only just means we have about three days at sea in a row and with some heavy swell for now.
We’re setting the clock back another hour tonight, so, 7:30p is a bit too early for me to go to bed. Here’s some more trip-related things, not necessarily from today.
The ship is generally well-heated, but there’s layering. Melinda and I are in cabin 430, which puts us on the fourth deck starboard a little aft of amidships. The 3rd deck is too warm, the 5th deck is too cold, and lately the 4th deck has been pretty cold, too. We have a ceiling vent we can adjust, but it’s pushing out only cold air – we can’t heat the room on demand. It’s generally okay, though. I typically wear jeans and a T-shirt around the ship but nearly everyone else (including Melinda) wears a sweater or fleece as well. We just completed dinner, which I didn’t eat much of on account of me feeling a little poorly, but it was decent. We get three meals each day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is typically eggs, oatmeal, sometimes bacon, toast, and some cold items (fruit, yoghurt, cold cuts, cereal). Lunch is a soup, entrée, and dessert, and dinner is appetizer, entrée, and dessert. By lunch time the dinner menu is posted, and we’re asked to pick an entrée so the chef knows how many of each need to be cooked. The fish has been mediocre and overcooked, beef is overcooked and dry, but occasionally the meats are very good (eg, lamb yesterday or the chicken today).
The seasickness patch I’m wearing is helping by reducing the “butterflies in my stomach” feeling. It wasn’t nausea but, hm, let’s say pre-nausea. Sitting while the ship pitches is a good abdominal work-out, but for all I know that’s been contributing to a bit of this feeling. I’m feeling some of the symptoms again tonight (the patch lasts for 72 hours and I’m only 24 hours in to it) so I took an antihistamine as that will help the scopolamine do its work. I’ve gotten two of the side-effects from the patch, though: blurred vision (only when looking more closely than 24 inches) and dry mouth. I’ve never had such dry mouth. I woke up several times overnight and needed to drink something. I don’t have that feeling now so I’m hopeful that part has passed.