Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Fish Island and the Antarctic Circle

Posted from Grandidier Straits, Antarctic Peninsula at 7:00 pm, January 19th, 2006

Since the plan for the day was to cruise south to the Antarctic Circle the bar scene lasted until at least 2:00 AM last night, with everyone occasionally heading outside to admire the scenery and twilight. The highlight moment of the evening came when the bar phone rang, Rod picked it up and immediately said that we were busy cooking possum, and from there proceeded with tales that left everyone laughing so hard that they were gasping for air.

After I had been sleeping for a few hours in the library and a few more in my bed, Doug woke everyone up at 6:15 to say that we were crossing the Antarctic Circle. The rest of the morning was a return trip towards Fish Island, where we had a brief landing with adelie penguins. After returning through thick ice to the boat I got the OK from Ted to go for a quick swim, and ran down the gangway and jumped in with two rescue zodiacs standing by in case I went into cardiac arrest or had other issues due to the below freezing waters. After hitting the water my memory is a bit fuzzy, although I did yell out several words that my mother wouldn’t approve of before doing a few strokes and then swimming for all I was worth back to the gangway. It took two tries to get out, with the whole ordeal probably lasting less than a minute. It was one of those things that had to be done, mostly so it would never need to be done again. Rod probably summed things up best when he came up to me, still shivering unstoppably on deck, and said “God damn, you are [colorful expression] nuts.” Another memorable day is now in the books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *