Rip-Snorter: something extraordinary, humdinger.

January 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, Dreams and imagination, Journey | Leave a comment

20th December

Phone alarm call from Tim at seven am. Into breakfast at seven thirty, at a table with an Indian gentleman and his son, and a lady who always travels with her own teapot. Ready to tag along with the tail-end of first group on official visit to Palmer Station. Learn about the science, and prospective new quay and look in the fish tank, then happily come across Phil, who despite being very behind with work, completes my personal tour (what did I do to deserve that?) we end up sitting in the Crary Lab talking and taking the weight off our arpeggios (as Andrew would say.) Find a water-damaged Webster’s Dictionary in the bin: Open at random and the first word is ‘Rip-Snorter’ n. (1840) something extraordinary: humdinger. Boat shed, last stop. Ryan is memorising poetry for Friday’s Art night and recites some as we listen on an upside down zodiac. Bit of Apple Mac chat. Very sticky brownies from Stacey, who has put together a care package inc. special loving granola. Unwillingly le ave, waving and waving. Luncheon with Mr. Trivalpiece and his three sons, who are kind and entertaining. Try to buy internet card and a lady generously offers hers, except no minutes remain. Rod, sitting next to me, donates his, so that I can download forty-five messages. People pass by with money owed and last-minute purchase requests. No time for a shower. Up to bridge and out on to deck. Peltier is gorgeous. Our familiar mountain-scapes emerge from an unusual angle. Ship ripples through stillness. Nine dots of climbers can be seen, moving across the lower slopes of Mount Jabat. We are dropped off with supplies of milk and green tea. Run for maps etc. Goodbye and Christmas wishes. There is thundering distant noise, as if bombs were exploding, sounds of massive movement, yet nothing to be seen through obscuring mist. Richard re-tracks his wake – we’ve forgotten cachet and ship’s post, oops – and catches up with Endeavour, who is sailing away along Neumayer. Frank all the mai l and sleep. Rick shares pisco with Darrell from Spirit of Sydney (yacht) Helen says they just talked about boats and knots. Too many work e-mails. Too strong smell of penguin. Wake. Rick fries up egg and potato. Helen, not hungry, restocks alone, letting me carry one box. I hide behind rocks, flustering the terns, and think about one person coming to find me…… Restock small stuff; commemorative coins in their wee pockets, penguin pins, books etc then bundle up hand-sized chunks of mail with elastic bands. Rick feeling chesty and sleep-deprived. Bunkroom hot and fumey. Prop up in bed and write this before memory goes. (There are three yachts in the back bay.)

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