Icebergs disperse into fresh configurations. Rick dreams of being a cowboy.

January 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress | Leave a comment

8th December

Yes, there’s the sound of an engine, and the sun’s full bright, but there’s no ship to be seen. Down slippery path to an ice garden spread over the smooth sea surface. Cold wind on bare skin! Since it’s glorious blue sky day, Rick encourages us up tower to take pictures of the ice. I’m third up, bringing radio, and still too scared to climb onto platform. Cling on with one arm, and shakily try to manoeuvre camera – there’s a great aerial view of the boat shed colony. A chunk falls from nearby glacier with a rumble and all the penguins hush for an instant. Radio crackles to let us know Mikheev is arriving. They are anxious about ice conditions, Port Lockroy looks inaccessible, we can reassure them. Climb down and loiter on solid ground, taking pictures of a chinstrap pair and the like. Sunny visit, lots of euros and no small change. Several Swiss, so I get to speak French. Diana, the EL, proposes an aperitif onboard – what a treat – slow zodiac ride through the icebergs, and straight to bar for a pisco sour (tantalising lunch smells wafting,) nuts, chat, quick tour of bridge ooh and the first Russian navigational charts I’ve ever seen. Back, glowing, to our veranda with Tabasco-ised stew. Wind has risen and changed direction, ice from the back bay glides by and out. Helen nips to top up medium t-shirt supplies, otherwise we’re all set. I admire surroundings and contemplate personal flaws. Rick mops bunkroom floor. We sweep and tinker. Helen attempts to remove two specks of dust from her camera’s innards. Sit out to transcribe base diary (from this one) next to Rick, who’s dreaming of being a cowboy. Andrea had radioed to say they were landing at Jougla Point first. (Half an ear for the buzz of zodiacs.) Look up to see passengers here already, walking up the ramp. Leap up, sell lots of stamps. Sixty-three visitors soon pass through. Find a pair of sunglasses as they’re leaving, run down to landing, where we three stay, for a long time, sitting on rocks, until I, chilly, go and put the kettle on. Icebergs are dispersing into fresh configurations just as photogenic as the last. Helen cooks up delicious chorizo pasta. Read aloud four days of blog for approval before e-mailing it off. Early bed for a decent read.

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