As the Aurora Australis passed over the 60 degree South line there was a surprise visit from the King of the Deep. King Neptune, his wife and several other members of his clan boarded the ship to formally welcome all “first timers” to his Southern realm. It was not clear who enjoyed this traditional Antarctic induction more; King Neptune and his crew or the expeditioners. It was messy work for all involved, including the audience. All participants received a wonderful memento to mark the occasion and a get out of jail card to never have to do it again.
The further south the ship travelled the colder it got and the ship started to freeze over well before we even hit the ice. When eventually we came to the ice flow, the ice was so thick that it took many days to negotiate a way through. At times we went so slow that a group of emperor penguins walked past.
A charity night on board raised nearly $12,000 for Camp Quality with one of the main attractions being the head shave. Several brave souls donated their beautiful locks for a worthwhile cause. The crew also contributed many articles to the auction.
This voyage down was a wonderful experience for everyone and was also an excellent way to bond the new crew and prepare them for the year ahead. But after 23 days on board the expeditioners were like a group of huskies that had been on the trace line for a while and were ready to work. Davis and resupply awaited them.