Ship party foregoed: there are stamps to stamp

December 17, 2007 at 8:38 am | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, Life in the snow, Observations in Antarctica, Rachel Hazell | 1 Comment

25th November

Wake at five thirty but wait until six to ring home (three hours ahead.) So good to chat with Nev and then Sarah, on a line with no delay, as a Giant Petrel flies past the porthole. Minutes fly by, must be at breakfast for seven. Sit with the expedition staff. Waiters are happy to see us (but sad that my hair is cut short.) Whiz over to Goudier Island ahead of eight-thirty landing. Despite this being our largest visit in terms of numbers (230) the passengers are well managed and flow is steady. Famished after, so finish left over curry. Bread and Jam for pudding – with the special Calafate berry jar so kindly given by Marco.

Rick has found an e-message sent from Endeavour yesterday, asking if they can come in this afternoon (instead of 28th)- try to reply. Neaten piles of t-shirts (Now I can empathise with those Benetton shop assistants) and restock as far as necessary. We have loads of post to process from Nordnorge, so congregate in the bunkroom to apply stamps, make up new mint sets and frank (spread out on kitchen table to dry quickly.) Endeavour running late. Go on a mini monitoring expedition – lots of muddy eggs in puddles. Chick numbers will surely be low this year. At seven pm Endeavour hangs left into Port Lockroy and sends a zodiac to collect us for dinner (me and Helen enthusiastically run down to the landing site in our immersion suits.) Richard the bird man, is driving, and fills us in on the scene he saw around the Explorer. There are growlers around the gang plank, so we wait for them to pass.  Delighted to see Tim and a wee welcoming committee for big hugs.

Straight to the dining room where we receive a rousing clap from a bunch of eager bunnies. Delectable dinner, gourmet fish and chips, hot chocolate fondant swilled down with a couple of glasses of wine. I cause delay to first zodiac by running round finding a WC, and then we drop a couple of staff off at Jougla Point… so we arrive at the landing after the first passengers. Run up to the hut, comedic removal of immersion suits, package up mail, pull on long johns, light tilley lamp and the shop’s in full swing, credit cards all the way. Great spirits and much patience. Sad to forego party on board, but KK is expected at 9am, we have lots of Endeavour mail to cancel and shop to restock. I stamp the stamps, Helen counts cash, Rick makes camomile tea and cocoa. Finish at eleven thirty. Wind blowing fine smoke. Bremen (who have come by for the party) and Endeavour are ablaze, zodiacs buzzing between the two.  Traffic noise for the first time in weeks!

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  1. Nice blog….. Keep it up

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