Day one (20 February 2005) of our voyage starts on land – in a lecture theatre. The Director of the Australian Antarctic Division welcomes us and introduces us to, “the most important person in the room” – the Voyage Leader. We are leaving today on “Voyage 5” from Hobart to Mawson station, Casey station, Macquarie Island station, and back to Hobart. It’s a 6 week trip, and for some it’s very familiar territory. For many of us though, it's a trip into the complete unknown.
One theme dominates all others at our lectures on day one … safety.
We’re left in no doubt that although everything should be fine, the Southern Ocean can be dangerous.
After the lectures there are a few hours spare … It is a good chance for some of us to spend a little more time with our families before it’s time to say goodbye. Some expeditioners are away for 6 weeks, others will be staying on Macquarie Island, and will be away for a year. It’s quite an emotional time for many at the wharf, as we wave goodbye and sail off into a perfect Hobart sunset.