When the going gets tough...
Just three days ago, we enjoyed a delicious birthday cake outside in the evening. But things can change quickly here in the Southern Ocean, especially the weather. Rain, hail, and now snow. And not just for a brief moment, but it has been snowing the whole day. Ropes are covered with snow, creating beautiful abstract patterns and the broken-white sails are partly covered with a fresh layer of pure white snow. This is full-on sailing to Antarctica, just like in the heroic accounts of the old days, when brave men and women (I have been told that women were often employed as deckhands and for maintenance) explored the unknown waters on the southern edges of our globe.
The sails were taken down by the ever smiling crew in miserable conditions during the early morning. (Cold? No not at all. Well, it 's not particular warm, but cold, no). The railings in the corridor quickly filled up with wet sailing jackets and boots, only to get wet again in a couple of hours. Even though the windows of the deckhouse are getting froggy, it is a gathering place in these harsh conditions. The pot with steaming hot chocolate milk is a very welcoming treat, especially to the the stiff and icy hands of those who were on watch or high up in the rigging.
With increasing winds in the afternoon, sails are set again. The accumulation of snow is the trigger for some of us to throw snow-balls, even from the rigging. More smiling faces. What is each one of us thinking? The coldness, wet hands, snow-balls and the biting wind on our face, it all adds to our traveling mood. But doesn't this add to our own heroic sailing trip to Antarctica?