Monday, March 14, 2016

67 - Repeat offender = 7 Times a treat

Well hello Friends

I know its been a while between drinks but stuff has got in the way, yep life and its been a hard couple years. That being said life is now beginning to normalise, as much as they can I mean you should know me better than that by now. Normal is anything but what I am and the life I lead or have lead since I begun my travels South. But THINGS JUST GOT REAL however I'm going to make you wait a little before I get to that.

SO WHERE TO START.........

My trips/pilgrimages South have continued even though my blogs have been sporadic at best. Last year while here at Davis Station I found it very difficult to concentrate or focus and really didn't want to sit and ponder my inner thoughts and demons instead I wanted to do anything but. So needless to say its been tuff couple years while here and home but I'm not here to whine about it as its part of life and the last thing I want this to sound like is a bad county song.

First a quick catch up and the i'll get to that hard bits. So its now been just over a year and a half since we lost the most amazing person in my life in my mother. Believe me if you didn't know her she has left a gaping hole in all my family and our families friends lives. I would be lying if I said I didn't have moments where I would catch myself thinking about her, missing her but remembering her for who she was. She would be so upset with us if she knew we weren't moving on with our lives which is very easily said but difficult to actually happen.

Seeing, sensing and feeling the pain of those closest to you and being helpless to help them through it is the tuff bit as everyone handles loss differently. However as tuff is it is I can only imagine what it must be like for someone to loose the love of your life and to be alone. However being alone isn't something anyone really is unless they want to then you are only if you totally isolate yourself. Here I am in Antarctica and I can go out and sit on a rock away from station and honestly say I have silence  screaming in my ears not a voice or bird to heard just the occasional random Adelie penguin or Skua checking your still alive and still not feel truely alone.

I think its because of this mindset and the things going on around me its taken me so long to get back into my Blog as I just lost my MOJO. I do write this for personal reasons and having you read this and maybe enjoy it is a bonus but not my priority. Its as much as a journal as it is a cathartic release and helps me keep things real when living in a bubble.

So this off season I went on a little African adventure with Dad to visit my sister as she was working in Cape Town. Took some amazing pictures over the 33 days 4 countries 5 game parks and a total of  5500 pictures taken so as you can imagine I'm still going through them but lets start with Cape Town but more importantly I got some beauties!!!

Pic Michael Goldstein
African Penguin yet another penguin to mark off the list!!
Pic Michael Goldstein
Rock Hyrax sunning himself on Table Mountain.

 Pic Michael Goldstein
The South African Antarctic Division which we spotted on our way to Robben Island.



 Pic Michael Goldstein
The South African Antarctic Division ice breaker. 
I did go over and try and have a chat with them but they
 weren't all that talkative but interesting none the less.

Pic Michael Goldstein
Looking from Rodden Island looking back to Cape Town and Table Mountain.
Pic Michael Goldstein.View from the top looking down the cableway. 
Pic Michael Goldstein
Pic Michael Goldstein
Pic Michael Goldstein
Pic Michael Goldstein
Pic Michael Goldstein

Many years ago when I was embarking on my first season in Antarctica I remember how nervous, excited, pumped,
Pic Michael Goldstein
This pic was taken from my first hot air ballon trip and what a way to experience it for the first time. This pic is of Ostrich on the plains at Sossusvlei kind of reminds me of a pic I've seen of he camels in the dessert on a dune. Game trails are the lines you can see.   
Pic Michael Goldstein
Oryx running across the Fairy Circles


Pic Michael Goldstein
Fairy Circles


Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein
Dune 45 on the way to Deadvlei or dead (clay) pan. This one is 80m high and you might be able to see a speck 3/4 the way up, thats not me I'm taking the picture silly. 

Pic Michael Goldstein
Deadvlei amazing.

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Big Daddy in the background of Deadvlei

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Oryx


Pic Michael Goldstein

So I've only added a few pics more good ones can be found on my Absolute Antarctica Facebook page. Like it if you have Facebook or if you don't have Facebook not to worry you can still view all the pics by following THIS link.

Now for the stuff you've came here for............

ANTARCTICA

So this year its Davis, so thats now 4 Summers here at Davis. In the whole lead up as short as it was actually made me feel older than I actually am. Going to briefings and seeing pictures or being told about situations and events that I was actually involved with is a little it of an eye opener.

Anyway I had a really good feeling about the crew too, normally you can gauge what a season is going to be like by the feeling of the crew before you go in. This season had a good feel but what I didn't expect to happen unfolded through the season.

So 2 days is all I received in as far as training was concerned and we were due to be departing on V1 on the 22nd. Plan was in place Dad was in town and he was staying on town till the ship departed and then going on to visit friends in St Helens. Well as pre normal at the briefing we were to learn the A-Factor strikes again.

We turn up to the normal briefing before the ship departs where we get told whats happening, watch a great little film called "More than an passenger" which was shot when side burns, wide ties bob style haircuts and perms on men were in fashion. I think I've now seen that movie more than 12 times and it always makes me smile.....

So we watch the video and then get told we have to wait a little bit as we needed a little more information from one of the big wigs who was coming to talk to us. This is when we found out that our ship had been taken from us to go to Macca to pick up a expeditionar and get him home as he was sick.
PRESS RELEASE 

So as you can imagine there was some quick reshuffling to happen there and we were given the option to stay or go home. There was only one option for me as the only reason i would go home was to see dad and he was in Hobart anyway, just means I stuffed with Dads holiday plans. We just needed to hurry up and wait.

Waiting took 6 days for the ship to return which is really good time actually as the voyage to Macca normally takes 3 days each way but they also did a quick resupply with the LARC's and picked up the sick guy and got back.
PRESS RELEASE

The morning of the 29th October we board ready for the voyage south. As you can imagine many of us are newbies and just as many repeat offenders but most of us all making the most of the last of the cell reception making calls to love ones before there is the nothingness of the southern ocean.

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein
From the monkey deck.....aka the very top of the ship above the bridge and where i like to make my last minute calls from. Best reception but can get a little windy thats where that little box on the left of picture comes in. Its where some of the weather stuff is housed and makes a great wind break for calls


Pic Michael Goldstein
Heading out the Derwent River into the open water Bruny Island on the right of picture.

While on the phone to my sister in Sydney she was telling me that the new Ice breaker had been announced on morning news and the PM was at the Antarctic Division doing it as I was departing.  Interested in seeing what we might be getting???? HERE

15 day at sea and we finally made it to Davis Station........

Pic Michael Goldstein
Parked up in the Ice ready for resupply.

Well there is a lot to catch up on and I am going to have to milk it a little so think I'm going to call it there. Hope everyone is well and your going to have to wait till the next one to find out more......................

One more thing for those of you on Facebook please feel free to Like Absolute Antarctica and ill be adding much more things, articles and trying to answer any questions. Ill also be posting on there when I add a new blog so it should be a good way to keep updated well while I'm here anyway.


Take care

Michael

P.S


On the internet you can be anything you want……….its strange that people choose to be so stupid……..

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