So what happened today and how come I am not getting your daily blog? Lets refresh everyones mind. I am currently in the middle of the dreaded “Dark Passage” with no internet. As soon as I am able to, will send everyone my blogs.
So how did your day start? My day never ended. What do you mean never ended? I finished writing my previous blog at around 12:30 AM and laid down in my small room to get some badly needed rest. Then the Drake decided that it needed to keep me awake and make me pay for the Drakes right of passage. Pay I did. Picture wanting to go to the bathroom and fighting with yourself trying to get to the bathroom. The bathroom is about three steps from my bed, but every time I tried to get up and walk the three steps, I was thrown back into bed by the Drake. It was like having a fight with yourself or having a ghost fight with you and block every way you wanted to go. I started to call this invisible spirit “Drake”, what else. I constantly got thrown back into bed while hearing the waves hit up against our ship and heard the waves hit my window. I am on the third floor. Finally the waves decided to turn the boat on a forty five degree angle as I tried to go to the bathroom. Decided to wait it out thinking that this could not keep up. I was wrong. The fury kept on coming. I curled up in bed trying to fall asleep, but the constant rocking and squeaking of the boat kept me awake. I then decided to hide myself under the blanket and hope that this was all a dream and I would wake up next to my beautiful wife in Ossining. Guess what? This was not a dream. This was real and not a figment of my imagination. Could not read. Just laid there starring into the darkness hoping that the fury would end soon so that I could go to the bathroom. The fury kept on coming. What have I gotten myself into now? These crazy situations I put myself into need to end. Being tossed around all night long is not something that I wish on anyone. Finally as the light started to appear, at about 3:30, I decided to try to take those three steps and go to the bathroom. After “Drake” pushed me back a few times, I finally made it to the bathroom. I got the best of him now, but wait until later. I decided that I needed to go downstairs to the lounge and get some coffee. Expected to find some other poor souls there, but found no one. Everyone else was hiding in their beds. Got some coffee and watched the boat be taken by the Drake and tossed about as wave after wave hit us. The Drake also decided to turn the boat up 45 degrees again and toss us about some more. At about 4, another poor soul showed up and we both compared notes. At 5, more people showed up and we all starred in amazement at this spectacle. One of the crew showed up and told us we were being hit by 20 to 25 foot waves and sometimes even worse. I finally fell asleep on a lounge chair. The chair has a deep impression on it so that I could not get up and it kept me seated.
At 8 I was woken up by a whole group of other people looking at me sleeping. It was time for breakfast. I have never had a breakfast like this. The food is good and the tables have bars on them trying to keep the dishes from sliding off. After most of the group, left the mess hall, I was still there enjoying my cup of java when a huge wave hit us and all the dishes slid down and off the table breaking onto the ground. Our coffees all spilled and dripped down the table to the floor. The crew scattered to start picking up the mess and I decided that I had had enough of this insanity. Walked back to the lounge holding on for dear life so that I could find the same chair and buckle down for more insanity. Finally did and was woken up by a loud scream. One of the passengers had fallen down the flight of stairs I use and was seriously hurt. Others complained of bruises on their heads, legs and arms from being tossed around by Drake. I considered myself lucky . I have only lost some sleep. I was walking around always trying to envision how I would fall and compensating for that. Also, I decided to walk down the stairs facing the stairs.
I fell back to sleep again and woke up for lunch. We all slowly walked to the mess hall holding the rails. We looked like a team of climbers climbing a mountain. One in back of another and walking very slowly. The passenger who got seriously hurt is a nice Russian gentleman by the name of “Igor”. The doctor on board has determined that he has broken his ankle and fibia and has compound fractures. Poor Igor. He is in the room next to me and the doctor inserted IV’s and gave him pain medication. I felt so sorry for him and can only think about myself being in his situation.
At about 1:30 we were given a nice lecture bye Will, a British freelance photographer who specializes in wildlife photography. What a photographer. He has devised some interesting gadgets to try and get up close to the animals and film them in uniques positions.
What did I do next? Fell back to sleep for about three hours and finally awoke to feel the wrath of Drake starting to pick up again. Andy addressed the group about Igor. The primary concern is his safety and getting him back to a proper medical facility as fast as possible. Andy told us that a decision was made at noon. They had two choices. Either return to Ushuaia or go on to King Georges Island and have a plane pick up Igor from there. They told us that the weather going back to Ushuaia was worse than what we had just experienced. If the weather gets much worse we may be confined to our rooms to try to prevent us from getting hurt. The decision was made to go to King Georges Island. This stop is not on our itinerary, but not that far from our itinerary. Just a short diversion. I was told King Georges Island is where Earnest Shackelford is buried. He is the famous Antarctic explorer. Hopefully the plane will be there when we arrive and we will then transfer Igor and get on our way. If not, we will stay docked and wait for the plane to arrive.
Dinner was another experience in the Drake. No broken dishes but lots of rocking.
I then decided to keep Igor company and talked with him and the doctor for about two hours. We had some great conversations about our common heritage and our photography. Marc gave a lecture on “Vision” that I wanted to hear, but I feel so sorry for Igor that I decided to help comfort him.
As I sit here ending this blog, the boat is rocking again and the Drake is starting to take it to another level. Now I truly understand why the Drake is called “The Washing Machine”. An appropriate name.
So lots has gone on for a day on the sea. We never left the inside of the boat. How many more crisis’s can we endure? When will we start to get on each others nerves? Only the Drake knows.
Hope I can sleep some tonight but doubt it. The rocking is really picking up again.
Need to button down the hatches and hope for the best.
3 thoughts on “Antartica Day 2”
Larry – thanks for sharing.. you really brought to life a journey I can only imagine… may I suggest you bring an empty water bottle to bed with you and use it in a fashion similar to being on a long road trip and nobody wants to stop the car.. be safe! mike
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