Monday, November 27, 2006


I've just added some links to the blogs of some of my fellow sailors. Have a look at Dave's and Richard's to see some great photos of the dolphins we spotted off the bow just before arriving at Montevideo. Rob's got loads more photos and stories of what we've been getting up to in Monte. They're all much better than me at keeping them updated, so definately worth a look.
Dry land at last. On Thursday, we arrived at the first stop of the journey, Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and just across the river from Buenos Aires. It seems very European here, you feel more like you're in Spain or Italy than South America, except that it's a bit run down (after the economic crisis in Argentina a few years ago) so some of the buildings are falling to bits. The main square, Plaza de Independencia, above, is pretty impressive though.

Just outside the port is the meat market, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it's more like a giant barbeque than the slaughter house feel I had expected. I was even happier when I found out that the veggie option is a huge bowl of molten cheese!

On Saturday, the usually sleepy streets around the meat market were transformed by locals strutting their stuff to impromtu performances from bands practising for the carnival later in the summer.

Having spent four weeks sweating aboard the ship, dying to jump into the inviting turquoise waters but not being able to, I was determined to make it to the beach for a swim. We chose the windiest day of the trip so far and shivered on the sand drinking red wine out of cartons mixed with coke, but I still went for a quick dip. You can see some lovely alto cumulus clouds in the picture (it's about time I included something about the clouds, seeing as I'm now a professional cloud gazer).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm learning the basics of navigation as part of the lessons I'm taking leading towards my steering certificate. Here I am guiding the ship through rocky waters in a force ten gale. No, ok, we hadn't seen another ship for 3 days at this point, but you can never be too careful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The sunrise over Vigo in Spain. We're a long way from Vigo now, yesterday we passed by the island of Fernando de Noronah, off the eastern tip of Brasil. We're in the southern hemisphere and, incredibly, I managed to escape the chaos of the crossing th line ceremony with all my hair. I['m still finding remnants of the slops bucket on my pillow though...mmm.

The weekly BBQs onboard are one of the biggest tests to my vegetarianism so far...those shrimps looked so good!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hard at work!

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm finally off. I left the not so delightful port of Immingham at one o'clock in the morning on Saturday aboard RRS Ernest Shackelton, southward bound.

I've now been sailing five days, and we've just passed the southern tip of Portugal. Tomorrow afternoon, we should catch a glimpse of the Islands of Madeira, off the coast of north Africa, followed by the Canary Islands on Sunday.

It may be winter whilst we're stilll in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's already hotting up onboard. One of the bonuses of being one of the 'Metbabes', as fellow meteorologists Rob, Dave and I are now collectively known, is that we get to see the temperatures rise for every degree of latitute we move south. Today it's 22 degrees outside and it's only going to get hotter. Luckily, my main job aboard, apart from six hourly meteorological observations, is painting and scrubbing the decks, so I get to enjoy the sunshine.