On our way
17th November 2015
Finally, Wifi! One problem Shackleton didn’t have to worry about one hundred years ago.
But lying horizintal on my berth in my cabin, I experience something everybody sailing these Southern Oceans has experienced through the centuries: the pitching and yawing of the boat, and the sudden falling off waves like descending in a lift shaft.
I must re-read Shackleton’s account. I don’t recall his writing about seasickness. I’m a hopeless sailor, feel like death. The ear-splitting crack of the waves again the hull, and creaking of the boat under strain, would be alarming if I didn’t remind myself that our comfortable cruise boat the Silverseas Explorer hadn’t sailed these seas numerous times before.
What of Shackleton’s wooden-hulled Endurance? Wouldn’t these seas be even more terrifying? Surely Shackleton or a least some of his 27 men felt the same debilitating nausea, and felt the same fear of the giant seas. Or maybe these things were just insignificant nuisances by comparison with the real obstacles they had to overcome.
Today we dropped by the Falklands. Two days at sea and we’ll anchor off South Georgia, from where, just over one hundred years ago, Shacketon set sail to cross the continent of Antarctica from Weddell to Ross sea, via the South Pole – 1800 back-breaking miles of sled pulling over a frozen wasteland.
I’ve been prescribed some seasickness pills now, feel almost like a person again. Still I’ll be happier when land is in sight again, knowing that land to be South Georgia, our destination.