On Location at the Hut
We left Dunedin in 3m swells, most of us queasy, trying to find our sea legs. As we traveled
closer to Cape Denison and Antarctica, a distance of 5000+ Nautical miles, the swells became less and less until we glided into Commonwealth Bay on a
Flotillas of penguins welcomed us as we zodiac-ed in to “shore” - a huge snow/ice bank with steps
cut into it by the Expedition Reconnaissance Team. The seal were quite literally laid back and fearless and we gave
them the benefit of the 5m Rule.
The sky was overcast, but that is actually better than blue because the contrasts
of colour are so much more defined. Sunglasses are not as necessary. And, in “the Home of the Blizzard”, the
windiest place on the planet, God blessed us with not one, but TWO days of NO WIND!
The Temperature was a balmy 0ºC and not the -5C from Mt Hotham or the -18C in the freezer, or the
-10C of the Chill On Ice lounge that I had for practice. I had the additional blessing of spinning bare head and
bare hands. For the whole 6hours we were on the ice.
At one point, I was checked out by a representative of the local Adelie Penguin population, and we had a ‘conversation’ for about 10 minutes while he
tried to figure out what I was doing that was so different from all the other foreign ‘penguins’ on the ice. I
say “he” because in my experience, it is the males that like to have a look at the mechanics of the wheel – the
ladies are more interested in the end product….