We will be in Antarctica tomorrow, just one more night! We are going as fast as we can, almost faster than possible. It feels like something is behind me, pursuing me. I’m not superstitious, but yesterday was Halloween and there were no spirits, perhaps today they are catching up!
The day starts off fairly normal…anticipation, preparations, lectures, looking for the first iceberg – and there’s a prize for that! During mid-afternoon, the Natural History staff orchestrate a session on the back deck to identify and photograph sea birds. There are plenty of birds, including albatrosses, prions, fulmars, blue petrels, giant petrels and my favorite: the Cape petrels.
As the sun goes down, the Drake is mostly behind us, and the seas are calmer. As the darkness overtakes us, I learn that the spirits do not like rocking ships and they certainly do not like chasing one across Drake Passage.
What happens next happens slowly, in the dark. An apparition appears, holding a microphone. Was this the Captain? The expedition leader? No! It is a woman in a top hat. She is soon bathed in red light. No smile from this one. She promises me only pain and endless suffering. Her words are a sharp hiss. I assume this is caused by her prominent fangs. Wait, her prominent, crooked fangs. Hold on! And the pain and suffering are to be delivered in the morning during the stretching class?
Has the world gone mad, or is it only me? I have been handed a glass of red liquid. Is it blood? I feel compelled to sip it. There is no taste of iron, but rather a slightly earthy bouquet. What, this is red wine! I must get away. Quicky and quietly I go to my cabin, to my bed, all the time hoping I can sleep late to yet again avoid Tila, our wellness specialist, her morning stretching class and all those happy, limber people!