All aboard the Vavilov for Christmas in Antarctica! It was slightly overwhelming as I was making the journey to the “Deep South” on my own but, as always, I managed. That night we were told to take our motion sickness meds because the Drake Passage, the roughest seas in the world, was supposed to reach 50 knots aka 92.6 kph aka 58 mph aka insanely windy. I figured it’d be rough but manageable — I mean, a girl that loves to flip around in the air shouldn’t have any problem being tossed around a ship, right? Well, it seemed logical and amazingly I was one of the few who didn’t get sick.
The power of the waves crashing against the ship woke me up around 4am, as I kept being unwillingly thrown into the wall next to my bed while trying to sleep. So much for a nice, long, Dramamine-filled sleep. Instead, I laid there feeling myself get uncontrollably rolled into the wall for 3.5 hours. When the wake-up call came at 7:30am I was wide awake, ready to tackle the day. That is, until I realized how difficult it was to walk on a ship violently pitching up and down over the waves, muchless get dressed. After 3 failed attempts at standing up to put my pants on and subsequently getting knocked over onto my booty, I finally succeeded and headed to breakfast. I stepped into the hallway to find barf bags within an arms reach lining the whole ship, as people were so prone to get sick while crossing the Drake.
Breakfast was…an experience to say the least. Like something out of a movie. I have absolutely no idea how the kitchen people prepared our food without falling over every five seconds. Everyone had to hold onto to whatever they could find to balance themselves (yes, ceiling included), and carrying a plate full of food proved to be quite challenging. After a simple breakfast, and many sliding glasses, I went back to my room and passed out yet again until lunch. After lunch I unintentionally passed out until the “Photographing Antarctica” lecture. Whoops. I guess non-drowsy Dramamine isn’t actually non-drowsy…
A word of advice: avoid trying to shower while crossing the Drake. It leaves you chasing the water stream around your bathroom as it’s swaying in all different directions, your thighs will be exhausted, you’ll almost fall numerous times, and the wall will become your best friend. And if you use a razor…you’ll cut yourself. I learned these things the hard way.
By the time dinner came around, many more people were standing on their own two feet rather than puking in bed, which was quite
refreshing to see. Early to bed that night – jeeeeeez so much sleep! The Drake really does wear out your body, more than one could ever imagine.