There are two kinds of people in this world and I'm one of them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I got a polar to love

Back, then, from two weeks guffing around the Antarctic Peninsula, a tale of derring do, seas rougher than a sandpaper facial and as many penguins as you could feasibly snort with frozen nostrils. It's way too much to write about in one boring fell swoop, so I will add episodes and bore you slowly. So slowly you'll hardly realise you're being bored at all, like a frog in a pan of gradually heated water. Before you know it, you'll be an exploded amphibian with boiling ennui for guts.

I'm going to fast forward through the first bit, which was an 18-hour flight to the Falkland Islands (via Ascension Island) and then two days there which need some reflection before writing about. More reflection, I mean. Anywackers, we joined our vessel - which had set off from Buenos Aires some days earlier - there, and set off for two days at sea. With nothing to see, but sea. See? Now read on...

Passenger's log: Day 2, Somewhere in the sea.

I’m on a ship. Or is it a boat? I know that one term is fantastically insulting to nautical types, and marks you out as a hateful Johnny Land-lubber, but I’m too embarrassed to ask which, so I just alternate usage to minimize the damage. I joined it (sorry, HER) at the Falkland Islands after the rest of the passengers had already been at sea for around five days, and apparently the best idea for newcomers is to beat the living crap out of someone on your first day so that they respect…no, hang on, that’s prison.

I’ve never really been at sea for more than a few hours, certainly not for two days without getting off or indeed seeing any land whatsoever. I’m obviously something of a salty old seadog now, apart from the ship/boat fiasco, but living at sea is mainly like trying to go about your normal business while someone randomly messes with the gravity settings. Your body is almost imperceptibly pulled in weird directions, even as you sleep, and then suddenly there can be a huge fluctuation that can be potentially awkward if you’re carrying soup or trying to look sober after one too many after-dinner ports.

Also, being on a ship is what it must be like to be OCD. To minimise the chances of an outbreak of something sinister in the trousers department, you have to wash your hands ALL THE TIME. There are handwipes on every available surface and you can’t go into a room without dipping your hands in something antibacterial.

The good side of the OCD behaviour is that you also can’t leave your cabin for more than ten seconds without the staff compulsively plopping some kind of present in there, from passable Belgian chocolates to newsletters telling you that Boy George has been sent to prison. I recommend the combination.

There’s not much to do, although there IS an important briefing going on in the lounge about the next days' landing, being conducted by the team of beardie on-board bird experts, which I miss to go for a well-earned massage by the non-beardie on-board relaxation expert(ess). I figure it will all become apparent in good time - we're going to see a lot of penguins I GET IT.

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Blogger Vicky Baker said...

Hey! If it wasn't for Twitter I wouldn't have known you were back in the blogosphere again.

However, I also would have kept the hour of my life that I just spent *discovering* the tweets of Fry and the rest.

Ah, oh well. Nice blog. Look fwd to hearing more x

8:19 pm

Blogger Portia said...


9:22 pm


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