Friday, April 22, 2011

35 - The journey home and the end of the 2010-2011 season...........PART 2..............

Hello friends,

welcome to the last entry to my 2010-2011 blog, i know its a little late but better late than never. I hope you have all enjoyed my blog half as much as i have bring it to you but sadly it now comes to an end so lets get on with it!

Like last season there is some really good points and some not so good but when you weigh it all up as bad as it got it was a hell of a experience and one that i wouldn't swap with anyone. I learnt so much both about myself, about my new friends and as Ive tyred to explain before they are friend that are very different compared to the normal friends we all have. They are people that come from all different walks of life be it Electrician, Scientist or Chef or me the Plant Operator but we all have one thing in common a love for Antarctica.

We all have one main trait other than wanting to live/work here, which is rare enough i mean wanting to be at work really can you imagine that. However when working in such a remote place one needs a great deal of tolerance and is rare in the real world in the form we have it down there. It is a word that is often used but rarely totally understood by those that use it, well Ive seen it at work and it is quite unbelievable.
Anyway lets get back to the voyage home and ill sum it all up at the end. Last blog i left  at Day 4 and lets get back to it....................................

Day 5

The seas finally abated and those who we hadn't seen since leaving Casey were now beginning to turn up in the mess for food. I went up to the helideck to have a look at an Albatross that i had been told about following the ship and here she is!! Here is a web site about the Albatross that you might find interesting CLICK HERE.

She was flying so close to the water it was memorizing to watch............what a majestic animal!

Bec joined me a little later and was so happy with the weather calming down that she had to do a little jig..................

Anyway was good fun up there in the fresh air.............wind in the hair, and beard!!!\

A little later in the day there was the King Neptune ceremony. Whats that you might ask well CLICK HERE and it might help but in short as i know many of you LOVE my links. Its a tradition that involves all those who haven't been down before. Pollywogs as they are known are initiated by King Neptune and given safe passage.

All sounds good huh well before we get to the good stuff let me tell you a little story. Although i have been down before i have never been on the Aurora Australis before and therefor haven't been initiated before. Now i know some of you are going to say that i planned it this way but believe me i didn't. King Neptune started reading all the names out and people were being..................well initiated and when he got to the crew of the AA i though i was next. I was dressed and ready but King Neptune didn't read my name. I missed out and after smelling it i was well a little happy on one hand but on the other unhappy. Unhappy as i now know that next season if there is another one my initiation is going to be super bad!!

Anyway take a look at these and you make up your own mind..............believe me the smell was bad too!!

All pictures in this King Neptune section were taken by Peter McKernan who is the character in the second last picture!! LOL

Don't think narration is needed it is, but it was very very funny?

Day 6

The only thing of any excitement today was handing our issued clothing back and getting organized ready for our arrival first thing in the morning. Don't really remember too much of this day other than the fact that i was now getting really excited to in as i knew my mommy and daddy would be waiting to see me at the wharf. I was a very sleepless night, spent a fair bit of time in the library on my computer and at about 11pm i think it was Charmy come running through saying that you can see the light houses meaning "LAND A-HOY"

Day 7

Woke up this morning and the seas kicked up a little, but the excitement for our pending arrival home had turned my stomach into knots. Making our way up the Derwent River in the morning darkness was beautiful, seeing the city sleep as we made our entrance.

No balloons, no nothing. In fact we pulled up along side a part of the wharf that nobody could see us. Australian Customs made their way onto the ship with AAD representative who happened to be a good friend from last season in Wendy COUGH COUGH. After getting a once and twice over from passport control as me with a beard and me with no beard do look a little different. But ultimate they let me in and we made our way to where everyone would be waiting for us.

There they were..............Mum and Dad and after seeing them i don't know who missed who more. It was a difficult season back home with much sadness and to see them waiting for me made me sooooooooooo happy. However there was one thing that i needed as much as my mummy and daddy..............................................yep i needed COFFEE.

Myself and Bec were taken by a friend to the hotel to drop the bags and get down to Salamanca for the first coffee. This is where we ran into our first problem, Bec had a room closer to the entry so we decided to dump the bags there till we had our fix. Only problem was there was someone still in the room!!!! HEHE Anyway we dumped the bags into my room and got down to the Salamanca markets where fresh coffee and real milk would be waiting for us.

After parking the car Bec began to feel the ground moving beneath her feet and well take a look at what happened!!!!

Here we are and your about to witness my first REAL coffee in 5 months and 2 day..............doesn't sound all that exciting but to me it was priceless............

So now its time to get back to some sort of normality i guess...............Mum and Dad had just left and i wanted to stay in Hobart i guess to slowly assimilate back into society and figured that the best way to start is to shave that bloody beard off...............

Here is how it went...........

Ahhh back to normal...............well as normal as i can be anyway!!!!!!

So its now almost a month since arriving and life still hasn't got back to normal and don't think it could. You kind of look at life a little differently your relationships with others and what you really need to survive. My needs for survival and happiness have changed and my desires with it.

I really hope you all have enjoyed my sometimes long winded explanation of my experiences and hopefully just hopefully i have inspired one person to take a look at their lives and reassess where they are going and start following your dreams. Cut the garbage out of your lives and start enjoying it, after all we are here for a good time not a long time!!

thank you for being with me on my journey,

P.S..............Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
                But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
                   Winston Churchill

END 2010 - 2011