Wide wasteland

We are now charging back across the Drake Passage towards Antarctica at a prodigious speed and leaving a vivid white wake through the calm silky seas behind us. The wind is barely raising a ripple of the gently roiling waves that stretch across the horizon and the Southern Ocean is quiet. Barely a bird is to be seen on these seas that typically boast a profusion of soaring albatross, petrels and prions, and the occasional blue petrel darting by the bow serves more to highlight the absence of the expected avifauna than to break the mood of an empty ocean. No whale blows break the flat horizon and we it is easy to feel alone out here with the horizon stretching off unbroken in all directions.  But it is not a feeling of loneliness that encompasses me at the moment but one of being lost in a vast and unexplored world, one of not knowing what will appear before us, and the excitement of driving forward towards the ice.

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