Setting Sail

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Sailing South
  Birds & Bergs
  FI to Signy
  South Georgia
Summer 07
Winter 07


We set off early in the morning, the sea is calm and the boat isn't moving around too much. We don't wave goodbye to the land, but wait and watch it slide over the horizon, until there's no one but us and the blue. Onboard life is simple. The first full day at sea is occupied with exploration. Everywhere on the ship can be reached two or three different ways, through a maze of ladders, corridors and rooms with doors you didn't notice the first time through.

I'm occupying my time with a mix of work, teabreaks, and watching the birds as they hover above the waves. Exercise is non-existant so I'm using the gym to offset the tasty food on offer. The rowing and running machines are especially taxing, as they pitch with the ship.

The ship moves about a lot, and like no other ship I've sailed on before. I've managed not to be nauseous, but find sleeping very strange as my weight changes from moment to moment. The body tends to think itself responsible for the movement, so compensates. You feel you're going down as the ship goes up, leading to a confused sense of balance. Eventually you get the hang of it, and your body learns not to care that the laws of physics don't quite work inside the boat. The only worry then is spilling soup or cereal as I sway through the mess.

Over the edge
Over the edge

Crashing into a wave
Crashing into a wave

Birds and waves on the waterline
Birds and waves on the waterline

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