Sopping suits in the genny shed; splashing over postcards

January 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, The Practicalities of Everyday Life Out Here | Leave a comment

30th December

Stormy weather means those outside jobs are again postponed. I propose pre-porridge yoga. Rick acquiesces, Helen’s legs are too stiff. Start before we change our minds and wake up properly. Surprisingly focused and painless forty mins. It emerges afterwards that Rick has been fantasising about toast and marmalade, so satisfies those desires after porridge. My bowl of pear, banana, peach and nuts is also very good. Others recline as I read eight days of diary – no alterations required. Rick sorts through e-mails and writes three. I type until battery runs out and shoot off blog updates (now we’re charged up on the satellite phone again.) Rick goes to tidy his electrical wiring job with cable brackets. Helen checks spreadsheets (end of year accounts, literally) and replies to Rachel’s e-mails. It’s really too dreich to do anything. Only seven degrees centigrade in bunkroom; heat on and cosy in. Chicken soup for lunch, pear-banana custard and desert wine. Rick suspects it may t urn out to be a bedridden afternoon. Stick labels on my limited edition postcard packages (although they are not selling fast,) while Helen bakes mince pies and Rick rests, cross-legged. Listen to Country carols with Rhonda Vincent. Finish sewing little chart books, eat too many mince pies, drink tea and pop out every so often to scan horizon for Europa. String linen thread above bunk shelf and suspend gentoo shell samples in their ziplock bags (which we’re collecting for Oceanites.) The pingus are utterly soaked, snow is shrinking as rain lashes into it. The wind is so ferocious that the bunkroom lino billows up, so much so that the door sticks! Seven degrees in here now, but feels colder. Heater on sporadically to conserve fuel. Spot the brave Europa, rounding in from Neumayer. They’ve had a good sail and will come to collect us for dinner in fifteen minutes. It’s a wild evening, so definitely immersion suits. Tjalling is positive. The ship’s wood panelled interior is warm and an urn of gluwein is ready to be ladled. Downstairs for beef stew, rice and smiling pax. Manage to shower rapidly before Rick’s talk – the first wash in quite a few days, lovely. The storm has not abated – the other two even pull on neoprene hoods. Very rocky clambering from ship to boat and biting cold blasts to head on the few minutes of journey. We doubt for their safety in returning, let alone conducting a landing in these conditions. Since glasses are steamed up and useless, I go and stand, dripping, breathing in the porch. Hang sopping suits in the genny shed. Rick and Helen stayed out to make sure the inflatable returns safely. Helen panics and runs amok. Astoundingly, Tjalling radios to announce that they WILL land passengers, if that’s ok with us. Crazy! So light the Tilley and dress up in more layers. Very wet visitors, splashing all over postcards and stamps. One fellow, a train driver in Luxembourg, buys stamps for collector friends at home, and will pass on r egards to Rob McGill on Carcass Island (The Falklands) in a couple of weeks. We’re very disappointed that Europa won’t be here tomorrow night. Their lost anchor at Cuverville has set them back… ah they’ll be at Vernadsky instead. Tired, damp and the wind completely surrounding us. No word from the yacht – Xplore – in Alice Creek today.

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