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Amund­sen Sea

18th-20th Janu­ary 2015 – As Shack­le­ton said, the most important cha­rac­ter fea­ture for every polar explo­rer is pati­ence. Now we are not tal­king about spen­ding a long ant­ar­c­tic win­ter tog­e­ther in a litt­le hut, squeezed around a far too small table with per­ma­nent dark­ness and long bliz­zards out­side. But some days at sea are enough to make the inner clock turn a bit slower. Some may have dif­fi­cul­ties with it, but I think, most of us are actual­ly enjoy­ing it. At home we are always on to some­thing, always online, 24/7 workloads, per­ma­nent stress. How often do you have the luxu­ry to watch waves for hours on end, wai­ting for the occa­sio­nal Cape or Giant storm pet­rel – they have beco­me a bit rare the­se days – pas­sing by? One of the­se days, even a migh­ty Wan­de­ring alba­tross was seen during the ear­ly mor­ning hours. Far south of the con­ver­gence, but the­re is no way too long for the­se eter­nal riders of the sou­thern winds.

Still, every day is dif­fe­rent. One day, the wind was strong enough to be dis­agreeable for some, one day was grey, the out­side world hid­den behind a curtain of snow. One day, it was after lea­ving Peter I Island, we had pods of Orcas seve­ral times, and today ear­ly mor­ning, the­re were Min­ke wha­le backs brea­king through the waves, cat­ching some rays of the rising sun.

b9_Amundsen-Sea_17Jan15_68

Of cour­se we are having a series of lec­tures and films. Micha­el has explai­ned the various sub­ty­pes of Orcas, and Vic­to­ria is tel­ling the sto­ries from the ear­lier years of explo­ra­ti­on. Sto­ries? Heroic adven­tures! The­se are only a few examp­les, we have got quite a ran­ge of stuff bet­ween us. But I have to rave on a litt­le bit about Vic­to­ria Salem’s histo­ry talks. They should beco­me a TV series. I am not a TV jun­kie, but I would turn it on. High fre­quen­cy rhe­to­ri­cal arti­stry, every see­mingly casu­al sen­tence a punch line with high-gra­de histo­ry fla­vour. 40 minu­tes that feel like at least one well-rese­ar­ched histo­ry book. Loo­king for­ward to more 🙂

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last modification: 2015-01-20 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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