I have found it hard to start writing the second half of the trip, the days crossing the South Atlantic from South Georgia to Cape Town. Life intervenes of course: work and friendships and other adventures. Plus procrastination and fear, the writer’s ever-present comrades.
When I started I said this was a story about fear. Mostly I thought that would be the difficulties of climbing, of seasickness and writing from the ship. Yet getting back to this has also been a journey. The usual panic about whether anyone is listening. The knowledge that the words never match your intent. The ambition for honesty even if it is unpopular.
But I’ve started, so I’ll finish.
This part will be, as it was at the time, more reflective and distanced. It’s almost exactly six months since we docked at Cape Town and we were re-immersed in the ‘real world’ of cars and shops and other people. (Albatrosses, storms and icebergs are not part of the real world, you understand.) The voyage itself was like that: a time for reflection and contemplation, vast distances from the everyday, from friends and family. So maybe it is appropriate after all. And I have my notebooks, the wonderful log Jordi wrote for us and many more pictures. (Fellow crew member Judith pictured her hard copy of the log at her own site.)
In Antarctica and South Georgia, lots was happening. We went ashore every day, saw new places. Penguins and volcanoes. At sea, you hope not much happens – not storms or accidents or breakages. The routine of the watch and the rhythm of the waves, the wind coming from the right direction for your course are what you want. Deviations from routine are writers’ fodder but the sailor’s challenge.