22.02.2007 - 22.02.2007
'Twas with a leaden heart and halting breath that I withdrew my USB stick from the rollock for the last time before cutting South. "O when shalst I encounter my beloved again?" thought I morosely, removing a few loose teeth with a dry brush woven from shark's gizzards. In the distance I perceived naught but a curious rattling sound, which suddenly built like rolling thunder o'er the Tasman Sea. I had only encountered such a bawdy din once before, and never thought I should hear such again. Recognisable to me only as a fearsome monster from the deep, I ducked deeper inside the Master's quarters as the cacophonous racket grew to fever pitch. Quivering like a sea-cucumber, I feebly sang out to the beast "pray spare us, for we proceed on orders of God and the Queen", but to no avail. With flashing eyes and a loathsome breath akin to the foulest rancid fish, the devil's footsoldier sprang at my face with razor-sharp claws outstretched. I parried desperately to port with my cutlass, and the pestilential beast flew past, angling for his real target, the region of warm draught on top of the monitor. Just as I had succeeded in entrancing the scabrous beast with some of the mystical techiques I had learnt on my last trip to Polynesia, I caught wind of the stirrings of a far greater foe. "Are you finished up there yet?" she shouted, and I knew that my tiny vessel was lost to the waves forever...
Well, I definitely can't keep that up for two months. You have probably come to the right place, and this is my Antarctic diary. First off, some background information. I am me and I will be going on cruise JR165 aboard the RRS James Clark Ross. We will be spending two months away, during which time we hope to collect oceanographic and sea-ice data in the Bellingshausen Sea for the benefit of civilisation (whether they like it or not). You may contact me by email as usual or, in an emergency, via the British Antarctic Survey's liaison office. I will be departing RAF Brize Norton for the Falklands via Ascension Island on 22nd February, and after that it's anyone's guess. Weigh anchor, captain!
In the unstaged photo below I have indicated where the Bellingshausen Sea is. You may also notice some of the items I will take with me on the expedition.