Let’s just say that when it drops to 26°C up in Cairns, I would usually be wearing my trackies and ugg boots, I’d be sleeping under two doonas and I’d curse any further lowering of the temperature! One of my biggest fears in life has been the cold.
I’ve always wanted to go down to Antarctica, ever since I was very young. I must admit I’ve lacked knowledge on the historical side. My interest in and what’s really drawn me to Antarctica has been the magnificent wildlife and the extremely unrelenting habitat.
Five years ago I sat in a doctor’s office, I was reading through a National Geographic magazine when I came upon a story about Macquarie Island I was captivated. There was one particular picture that I couldn’t stop looking at, it was a beach covered with elephant seals, with this brilliantly orange and purple sky as back drop, a spectacular site. I turned to my mother and said “one day I’m going to insert myself into that picture, I don’t know when or how”.
I’ve seen many sunsets with amazingly stunning colours in this majestic place and my goal is to find one as close to that picture so I can slot myself into that beautiful image.
It’s only now that I am here, experiencing the unwielding elements, that I’ve realised the immensity of human endurance that has taken place in Antarctic history and I’m keenly learning about it all.
I came down to Macquarie Island as a dog handler. Unfortunately I hurt myself, which stopped me from finishing my training and getting out into the field. Finally on Sunday the 26th of May I set out to finish my field training, accompanied by Marty (FTO) and Steve (MIPEP Team leader) along with their vast experience and great knowledge.
I will let the pictures tell the story, but let me say that for someone who has never seen real snow I was given an amazingly beautiful gift, left speechless by the stupefyingly beautiful scenery. My endurance was tested with some ruthless weather on the second day, deteriorating slightly off blizzard conditions.
P.S I am no longer afraid of the cold.