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Day 6: an unsual hangover

December 15, 2010

Your correspondent down here in Antarctica has well and truly discovered that he has no sea legs, and is a landlubber down to the marrow in his bones. The famous (infamous) Drake Passage, which is South of Patagonia, lies on the convergence of tectonic plates: the Antarctic plate, the Scotia plate and the Pacific plate – and is famous for geological upheavals and very very rough seas.

As I write this, we have already ‘Draked’ and now face clear skies and Antarctic beauty – but of course to convey the whole picture the ordeal of the passage has to be recorded.

For 40 hours, though Marina Svetava ploughed through what the crew claimed to be relatively calm seas for the Drake, it was already enough to put me and half of the rest confined to bed for those few days. Food was not an option – for it would come straight back out within minutes into a vomit bag. The only sustenance then, was water and the occasional biscuit. In this semi-hibernation, the only thing our minds could focus on was the end of the passage.

However, it wasn’t all gloom and doom for everyone. The always helpful crew kept us company, and kept up a hot drink service and biscuit delivery throughout the passage. Some of the girls with us didn’t even seem to be affected that much, and made it through the passage with minimal puking. Very impressive.

For one of my fellow Antarctic explorers, Wong Yin Chi, the passage was the experience of a lifetime as it also heralded his 18th birthday – which meant a day of toasts and ‘fun’ for the already tired and seasick man. The whole boat awaits to witness his morning hangover…


Sent to you over a satellite phone using GMN’s XGate software.

Read more about Ben’s trip

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