From the Archive: Slow Travel, Antarctica

Approaching Davis Station and The Vestfold Hills, Antarctica. © www.thomaspickard.com

Approaching Davis Station and The Vestfold Hills, Antarctica. © www.thomaspickard.com

Six weeks.

That is how long my first trip to Antarctica took. Technically it was a lot shorter, but from the moment I got on the Aurora Australis, to the moment I disembarked for good, it was six weeks. After leaving Hobart, our first stop was Casey Station, followed by Mawson Station (fly off operation as the ship couldn’t get through the ice), followed by Davis Station.

Having spent well over a year of my life living and working on ships in both Antarctica and the Arctic, I have come to realise there are two things I really enjoy about ship travel.

Firstly, is the day you walk up the ships gangway and drop your bags in your cabin. Everything is new and the excitement about leaving for a distant shore suddenly feels, very, very tangible.

Secondly, is the day you walk down the gangway at trip end. The trip is over. It is time to spend time in your own house, with your family. You can cook your own food, sleep in your own bed and go surfing whenever there are waves.

I’m not sure why it is satisfying leaving a ship, but those are the two things I always associate with ship travel. Oh, and lots of time travelling slowly - which I love.