The first day we got on, Adrian Cross
(Jumper) told us that we are going to be on a very tight schedule...that we
should be ready to snap awake and run to the deck at any given point! We
thought he was being dramatic...
Our expedition is a mix of adventure and
education...and with the programme being a short 10 days we have to cram
EVERYTHING in that small time frame.
days depend on what the amazing team at 2041 have conspired against us, but it
always starts off with ‘Jumper’ on the PA telling us to wake up way too early
and get ready way too fast to get on zodiacs or get on deck! We typically have
15-20 mins to wake up, get dressed and packed and off to teams to our meeting
points...it feels like were in the military.
We trek, we prepare our plans...eat, and go
to workshops under sleep deprivation!
Sleep deprivation is an interesting
thing. We talk to our team members, they
ask us something and we reply...Then they ask again! :p
It’s hilarious when we all get together, we
are all spaced out and exhausted...but still loving it!
We have had a
very packed two days; more safety procedures to safeguard the team for the next
two days. The safety procedures aimed at insuring natural readiness in case of
a falling member as well as learning about hypothermia and hypothermia as well
as basic first aids.
The theory was
put into practice when the team did falling exercises and showed their rope and
splinting work, and then we marched!
The trek was
exciting with the occasional snowball fight but the team being roped together,
there wasn't much room to get away!
Then there was
the camping survival night!
The team dug
their wind shelters in the snow and were left for the night to see the Aurora
and the stars!
The next day was
the return to the sea spirit and directly into workshops while they got to
Tomorrow we will
be spending a day on the continent preparing for the big march through the
crevasse fields, we will also do the infamous polar plunge
in sub zero waters! Bader & Ameer :)
Today, six months after being selected for
the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme, we have landed in Antarctica.
Bader Al Lawati and Ameer Abdulhussain, the youngest Omani to reach Antarctica, landed in Mikkleson harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula.
The journey took us from Muscat to Brazil
then to the city of Ushuaia in Argentina. In Argentina we climbed to the top of
a glacier and trekked through the national forest with the other participants
to prepare ourselves for the journey ahead.
On the 3rd of March, the ‘Sea
Spirit’ left Ushuaia heading south to the Antarctic Peninsula. The journey took
two days and took us through the roughest waterway in the world; ‘The Drake
After two and a half days at sea (5th
March), the Antarctic icebergs showed themselves shortly followed by land.
Excited, the were on the second Zodiac heading to the historic Nickleson harbor
to learn about the area and rest for a few hours before listening to scientists and environmental
specialists to develop their campaigns for when we come back to the Sultanate.
Tomorrow (the 6th) the ‘Sea
Spirit’ will cross the Lemaire Channel and the Freezing Omanis will spend the
night on the ice.
Were heading on
to the charter, it looks insanely large!! And it’s all kicking in...the real
journey is starting and it’s really getting exciting. But at the same time our
safety brief kinda made things real...the first thing your head Jumper (the
safety officer of the expedition) says: “everything in Antarctica is out to kill
you” then he went on to talking about the drake and about how 80% of us will
get seasick...makes it a bit more nerving but exciting!
We got on to the
‘Sea Spirit’ and everything went exciting from then on!
We left land and
said goodbye to land...we were waved goodbye by a Russian scientific vessel,
they even blew their horns for us!
Now were hitting
the drake, things are shaking and moving...Some things fell off the
shelves...the shelves opening up by themselves!
We sat on the
deck chair...Ameer took a video asking me (Bader) to describe what I was feeling
in one word...if he gave me a page I still wouldn't have been able to... I've never seen the moon that big, or the stars so bright... I've never seen anything
like this. No description will do it justice and no words I have in my
vocabulary can tell you what this looks and feels like!
getting cold now, with heaters in the ship many of us are in half jackets and
we have a day and a half till we hit Antarctica.
reach Antarctica, further than any of us would have been from home.
Also, we have a
surprise for the Environment Society of Oman ;)