Coping with expedition life17th March, 2009
Any time away from home can be tough. This is now well into our third week away from home for all of the E-Base team. I know that homesickness can be difficult for people and having spent a miserable week away at cub camp at the age of 7, I have bad memories of being away from home.
Everyone in the team here is amazing, each bringing their own personality and fun to the mix. Without them I could be back to my cub camp feelings again! The work we are doing doesn’t allow you to stop to think about life outside Antarctica for 5 minutes. So although I’m sure we all miss home, we are keeping ourselves very entertained in our work. I also personally want to thank my wonderful Jacqui and my great family for all their support. Without that I probably wouldn’t be here now.
I love doing the education videos (does it show?), but even that can take Jamie, myself and Jonny (our fantastic camera man/director/co-script writer/co-science advisor who you never see as he is behind the lens) several hours to put together, mostly due to me taking a several takes to get it right….sorry Jonny! We had our first real break today and stopped working this afternoon for a while. We had lunch with one of our amazing new friends here in Antarctica.
His name is Alejo and is part of the 2041 team and maybe one of the most amazing men you will ever meet. He has spent so many years working in this continent that he probably knows more about Antarctica through experience alone, than anyone else around. He has almost lost count of the number of times he has been to the South Pole and his adventures are legendary. He has pioneered climbing new mountains and also works as a rescue worker, saving numerous people from this harsh continent when things don’t go to plan. I personally can’t think of anyone else I would rather have supporting this team.
Alejo took us out on a Zodiac speed boat to visit a local penguin rookery and onwards to see an incredible blue ice glacier. We have seen lots of penguins and seals since our arrival, but today we were fortunate enough to see five leopard seals up close. They are creatures not to be messed with, but again simply down to his experience Alejo kept us safe and secure around these potentially dangerous wild animals. The fog had descended in Bellingshausen but as soon as we found the Leopard seals at the glacier, the sun burnt through and the photographs we took look stunning.
Everything I see here makes me understand more and more how precious life is in Antarctica and how fragile this ecosystem is. I am here to make a difference to the way we think about and use energy. If you are interested enough to read this, then just maybe you can help make that difference too.