02 Dec Week 4 Antarctica – Sounds of Silence
It’s been one month living on the ice. I am somewhere between 71 and 73 degrees latitude.
I have reached halfway. One more month to go.
It’s been a month since I last saw the dark night sky, the moon, and stars;
Since I last saw the green grass or trees; (I really miss the colour green)
A month has gone by since I last heard insects like crickets or the sound from birds; If I close my eyes and try remember, I can imagine the smell of flowers in my garden and the smell just after the summer rain.
I am so full of gratitude and humbled by it all.
I sit here and look around me and I have 360 degrees of white ice, as far as my eyes can see. Nothingness.
Nothing grows or lives here.
The sun with her halo is high in the sky now as we near the southern solstice, doing a daily circle way up high.
Special sunglasses are needed here due to the strong sun and all the reflection. Lips and faces of my teammates are blistered from the sun, yet it is so cold.
When I walk away from camp, just a few meters, there is complete and utter silence. The silence is deafening.
Then out of nowhere, I hear a sudden crack coming from the ice on the ground below me. The ice is always moving. It is very eerie to hear these cracks. I can hear the ice cracking only on a calm day like today. Normally the wind is howling too much.
We’ve had a few good sunny no wind days, but the barometer is dropping and there is bad weather on it’s the way. The severe weather should hit us by tomorrow midday so I am getting ready – I am tightening the lines on my tent and packing snow blocks around it.
Now that I am settled, and the physical part of me has grown used to my extreme surroundings, I have to stay strong in my mind.
Having no real time, no darkness and lack of sleep can start playing on my mind. Keeping busy, having a routine and doing chores are important.
Today I taught the Canadian guys, Cody, and Tyler – our pilots – how to play Rummy. There will be a serious championship soon.
I’m busy blasting Rolling Stones, Love is Strong as I look around our camp and smile.
It feels like we’ve been deployed on a secret mission (maybe we have
One more month to go. I can do this.
Love is Strong.
Mel Thunderbolt signing out