I was meant to finish up my Antarctic contract and fly home from Punta Arenas, Chile on August 4 but the Southern Ocean has been a bit stormy of late and we are delayed. Currently we are hiding in Gerlache Straight area near the tip of the Antarctic Penninsula, in fairly calm seas but high winds. It is snowing sideways.
All of us are missing something at this point, weddings, birthday parties, planned vacations, but to a person we all looked at the weather forecasts, and the strength of the storms roaring through the Drake and said, "yup, let's stay here".
And so we are. But that doesn't make missing events planned for months in advance any less frustrating.
I still have hopes that I will make to it the Wool Scout retreat hosted by Sarah Hunt of FIberTrek, but it is beginning to look like it might be a stretch. My best hope at the moment is to fly out from Punta Arenas on the 10th, which has me (if all connections are on time) in Boston the afternoon of the 11th, but that leaves me with the wrong luggage for summer (even in Maine) and no indigo supplies, so a quick dash home to Worcester, and then the drive to MIllinocket to meet the float plane on the 12th. All doable in theory if I forgo sleep.
We are making the best of our delay, following in the long tradition of mariners waiting out Antarctic weather. A cribbage tournament was promptly arranged, and a lecture series quickly followed. Attempts are being made to form a band. Yesterday morning a nuclear physicist and I worked together to make bean bags (using beans generously donated by the galley) for a game of corn hole, tournament to be organized shortly. No one has started a newspaper yet, but if our weather window doesn't materialize on the 5th I suspect that might be next.