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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Returning Home

 Our return to Australia was aboard the Aurora Australis. The Aurora had to first pick up our work mates at Davis and then sail East to us at Casey. Like everything else in Antarctica weather and ice conditions played a big part in getting home. The Aurora became "bogged" in ice out from Davis for some 3 days. This led to the usual speculation about being trapped in Antarctica for the winter and running out of food. Luckily, the ship broke free and arrived at Casey to pick us up. We transfered to the ship via a squirrel helicopter. This was great as it gave us the opportunity to see Casey from the air. The whole transfer of personnel and cargo only took about seven hours. So we where underway by late afternoon. The first night wasn't too bad, but the next day was when we hit the open seas. The Southern Ocean is considered the nastiest piece of ocean around the globe with good reason. Apart from being cold, it's extremely rough with winds around 120kph and up to 18m swells. Luckily our swells were only upto 8m. Still this was enough to make a lot of people sick. Now the first lesson is even if you don't get sea sick, take sea sick tablets before you get sea sick. Bloody hell, this ship bobbed around the ocean like a cork. Once taking the tablet, I was fine. After that it was only a matter of getting my sea legs and the rest of the 7 day voyage was incident free. I must admit though  it  was pretty
boring. I read a few books and slept, and that's about all one can do aboard this ship apart from movies. Still, the food was outstanding as always. We arrived in Hobart the following Saturday morning to be greeted by family and friends. Actually it was quite amazing the number of people who came down to see us. So, that is as they say, that. I am now back in Queensland, Australia, sweating like a dog and enjoying green grass under my feet. Most of all, I'm home with family. Would I do it all again, Shit yeh...!

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