…which is special, because the night light is so like the inside of a shimmering shell.

April 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Journey | Leave a comment

20th January

But a storm blows up, wind and rain. Lie still, happy and solitary until Helen brings mint tea at eight thirty. It’s cold enough to have the heat on. Finish reading Anthology with bowl of granola – I’ll send it to Palmer for Phil to read and pass on to Stacie, who may enjoy the chapter by a fellow Polar Chef. I loved it all. Eventually get to franking. H cashes up in the warm. Rick must be persuaded away from bed and book – we have several pressing jobs on top of restocking for Nordnorge’s visit. Pen Duick pax come for a quick visit, with their credit cards this time, and thank-you wine from Juliette. We’re glad she’s on the mend. Penguins are dripping but the wind has subsided. Helen and Rick are in the boatshed assessing fleece quantities, and pulling out supplies for this afternoon. Earphones in for mega frank of Le Diamant mail, which takes an hour and forty-five minutes. Pen Duick VI disappears into the mist. Still snowing. Rick cooks up a kind of carbonara with left over pasta. Helen jots down the code numbers of finished fleece boxes and draws diagrams for future stock layout. Wind and wet continue.

Franz EL back from holiday. 300 and something passengers, control filtered. Frustrating weather for them, low visibility in the Lemaire Channel. Relieved to hear that the ship will anchor here overnight, therefore we can go aboard for the evening. Nordnorge is so full that there are no spare cabins, so we shower next to the sauna (disappointingly not on.) Agree to find Helen out on deck five when I’m done. Turn mobile phone on, as this ship has a signal.

Devastating message from Sarah; her dear, too young, sister has given up the cancer fight, and died on 13th. Feel so impossibly far away and can only send love.

Dinner is fabulous, a Chilean Buffet. We sit with tall Steffan, who claims to be an old lover of Rick’s… I’m keen to make e-mail contact with friends and family, so take my leave (after selection of four puddings) to hide close to hub. But the six hour card purchased in October is no longer valid – how very annoying. Our favorite Balinese receptionist sneaks me half an hour, which zips by. Making conversation in the bar, Helen mentioned the Emperor visitor. Half the expedition staff escort us home, via Jougla, to try and spot the exotic bird. Very muddy, still raining, we carefully tramp around the rocks, but can distinguish no call or colour. What a shame. A weary fatigue, heightened by sadness carries me to bed where I cry and think of beautiful Melanie.

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