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A Day in the Life of a Sailor

Whiskey tastes even better on Antarctic ice.
Whiskey tastes even better on Antarctic ice. (Franny Friesz)

I’m not a sailor, but I would like to be! I enjoyed being on that ship, smelling the ocean, wind kissed cheeks, listening to the water lap against the ship when we were anchored, and I even loved it on days when we saw nothing but water.  The day began with our expedition leader’s calm and soothing voice waking us up. She would always begin with “Good morning…good morning, everyone”. She would tell us the weather, describe the views outside the ship, and what we were to expect for the day. Either were having presentations or going to two landings that day. She would encourage us to layer up, head to breakfast, enjoy smoothies with Dave and get ready for an awesome day. Being part of the kayaking group, we’d meet in the library every morning before breakfast to go over the days’ paddle options. Then, we’d head to the gear room in time to get suited up for the morning excursion. Depending on the location and where we were headed for the afternoon, we would be out 2-4 hours. It was never enough time. Goodness, I wanted more and more each day. The thing about Antarctica, you can’t quite soak it in and you can never get enough of it.

Photos cannot do this place justice. More peaks on the Lemaire Channel.
Photos cannot do this place justice. More peaks on the Lemaire Channel. (Franny Friesz)

The beauty and splendor of this place is so hard to describe, impossible to capture in a photo, and life-changing. After our morning adventure, we would reluctantly return to the ship and begin our journey to the second destination. During this time, we would grab lunch, take a nap, or just have a break to hang out with fellow travelers. For the afternoon excursion, we head to the gear room and dress up all over again.  We enjoy another section of the beautiful landscape, hang out with penguins, whales, seals, and soak it in. The evening, the dining room is buzzing with stories that each person experienced as they kayaked, were in zodiacs, or went ashore. We would all head to the bar for some entertainment from the crew, have some drinks, climb up the stairs to bed and repeat all over again.
Friends in high places - Antarctica Buddies
Friends in high places - Antarctica Buddies (Franny Friesz)


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