Drake's Passage - 29 Mar 2004
I arrived in Stanley last week and it seems a life-time ago. The sun shone, Stanley was looking its colourful best - more 'Nissan-Hut' than 'Shanty Town', but all pinks and yellows. And the ground - now that was something special. It was steady, dependable and rock solid.
I am writing this in the middle of Drake's Passage on the Ernest Shackleton. The pictures tell the story; we are rocking and rolling our way south to a tune that lurches in all directions. The rest of the Rockhopper crew (Luke Winsbury and Saritha Wilkinson) are now old sea dogs having already made this crossing twice this March to film at Port Lockroy, Rothera and Danco. Thanks to them our project to produce 3 films about BAS from 1944's Operation Tabarin onwards is now well in hand. Ahead are close on 3 weeks more filming and these seas that keep crashing against my porthole.
There are moments when the ship's roll hits extra-high peaks and then crashes back down. At these moments I achieve state of weightlessness, hovering inches above my seat and s till typing away.
In 1944 the Operation Tabarin crew did this journey in a rickety
old bucket. How did they manage? Unlike me they had no Phenegan - a
wonder drug that has saved me from sea-sickness. The small print on
the label says that the dosage I have decided to self-administer
will cause heart-palpitations, baldness, multiple uncontrollable
face ticks, nightmares and violent mood swings. And both weight
gain and weight loss. And wind. And worse probably. Thank Heavens
for Phenegan, I say.
Shackleton's bow disappears again