Mel Thunderbolt | Week 2 Antarctica – Life on the Ice
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Week 2 Antarctica – Life on the Ice

It’s been two weeks living on the Antarctic ice.

I am not sure if the time has gone fast or slow as time doesn’t really exist here.
No darkness nor signs of a new day.
It’s either sunny and freezing or grey and freezing, but it’s mostly howling and it’s the wind that gets me.


My skin is so dry and no cream helps. The many tiny cuts on my hands and splitting of the skin on my fingers is painful and has to be monitored. My fingers are also swollen like little pork sausages so I think my body has circulation issues.

I am so stiff and sore from wearing my heavy snow boots and clothing which makes just walking difficult to being stiff from shovelling snow to melt for water. I suppose burying my food boxes under the snow and shovelling them out to get food daily is also a workout. Being here is quite a gym workout with everything I do.


I’m finally sleeping (well, that type of sleep when you are aware of each body turn kind of sleep) in my tent. I try to limit drinking anything after 5pm because it takes me so long to get warm and comfortable in my sleeping bag that I do not want to move once I’m sorted.

Before I came to Antarctica I was told the toilet was a bucket and I was mortified. The thought of 18 men and myself sharing a toilet bucket gave me nightmares.
Now I’m here and the toilet bucket is the last of my daily concerns.
All I care about is keeping warm and staying healthy.


Today I might brave pouring a bucket of water over my head for a “shower”.
Water is estimated at only 15 litres per person per day. Showers are very scarce. Thank goodness for wet wipes.


Mel Thunderbolt