Saturday, February 24, 2007

One Man Down

Nathan’s arsenal of sea-sickness fighting weapons has let him down. As I type this he is bonding with our bathroom and is about to visit the ship’s doctor for yet more drugs. I’ve also followed the same preventive regime included the more holistic tapping and this, so far, has worked and so I’m tasked with keeping this blog update until Nathan locates his sea legs.

An early morning wobble around the main deck yielded our first wildlife spot, 5 albatrosses gliding in the winds created around the boat. In an effort to keep boredom at bay the tour company have organized lots of lectures to serve as an introduction to the fauna and flora and to prepare us for running a marathon in such a unpredictable environment. First up was an Introduction to Photography so that we can all come back with that perfect Penguin photo, followed by a brief guide to the birds that we can expect to see. I then realised that my earlier bird identification was either too simplistic – there are over 20 different species of Albatross in the Southern Hemisphere; or simply inaccurate – Petrels are often mistaken for Albatrosses by beginner twitchers like myself.

The final talk of the day, the history of the Last Marathon was extremely disquieting. The marathon has only been run 7 times since its inauguration year in 1995 and in all but one of those years some catastrophe has befallen the trip including Argentinian bureaucracy, extreme weather, bankruptcy, radar failure and local politics. It is only because of the extreme resourceful and ingenuity of the tour company that a marathon has happened at all.

Talk over dinner is becoming worryingly familiar - we sit down with new group of people who, when probed, reveal some tale of sporting prowess or extreme endeavour against all the odds that leaves my piddly ‘two marathons to date and very slowly, I thank you’, look like I am frankly not trying hard enough. Don’t get me wrong, there are clearly some very competitive runners here but they form part of a wonderful mix of people whose raison detre is pushing the boundaries of expectation and achievement beyond anything I could imagine.

In between bouts of sea-sickness Nathan did also manage to sign up for the Antarctica Kayaking championship which will take place 2 days after the marathon. Hopefully he will be feeling a little better by then.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Photographs


Anonymous said...

Hope your feeling better by the time you hit land Nath. Good to see the pics of you guys. Scenery looks amazing, wish I was there with the Hasselblad.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes to all of you.

From Martin, Lynne, Terri and Katy.

Hope to see you when you have recovered.

Bets Scheck said...

Hi Tanya & gang!!!
Nice pix!!! What a wonderful experience!!! Have fun. I'll keep reading your updates, so keep them coming:-)

Anonymous said...

Nathan & Louise, Matthew & Tanya.
Progress being followed with great intent here in Sedbergh. Well done to you all, hope you enjoyed the experience & life afloat.Trust you remembered to claim your well-earned "Blue-Nose" Certificates. Wishing you fair winds & following seas for the return passage. Ron (Dad) 021600MAR07