As we near the end of our cruise, I believe we’re all thinking back to our favorite moments, those times of inspiration, excitement and fulfillment. One of the team, Andrea, was inspired to express some of those feelings in poetry, which we would like to share with you today.
Reflections from a Penguin Spotter
The rumor had spread: two small penguins were seen
Diving and jumping ‘long the waves in between.
My hopes were sky high: I checked the sea every ‘noon
“I wish and I hope I’ll see penguins soon!”
But the days they did past, with no sightings to speak of
Only waves, clouds and sunshine or the stars far above.
‘Til one day our leaders gave us all a great gift:
A Bransfield Strait transit! My spirits did lift.
I ran up to the bridge ‘cause I heard exclamation
Scenery and icebergs beyond imagination!
I saw a black dot: “Could it be? Could it be?”
But it was only a fur seal; no penguin for me.
And then I heard words that brought me down low:
“We saw a few penguins twenty minutes ago!”
“You’re kidding!” I cried, “Not again! Why me?
I’ll never see a penguin. It’s my destiny.”
The anguish I felt, the utter despair!
I stomped my foot and I pulled on my hair.
My second trip back here and it was not looking good
For me to see a penguin (I tried hard as I could!).
I resigned myself to it and said, “Maybe next time?
Though to travel this far and not see one’s a crime.”
But then to the rescue, came the Third Mate
Who said “I’ll hook you up, if you could just wait.”
“Do you see that iceberg straight off the bow?
Use these binoculars. Look there right now!”
I peered through and saw, much to my delight,
Several black creatures on a background of white.
The joy and excitement was full and complete.
This feeling and memory, I will never delete.
But it wasn’t quite over, the joy was not done!
We’d get even closer! We’d have some more fun!
We sailed right up close so it was easy to see
Them waddle and stumble as they tried to flee.
Their cute little figures sure made me smile
I could happily watch them for quite a long while.
But the science continues: we have corals to collect
And water and sediment- though I’ll never forget
The feeling I had on my first penguin spotting.
Will I see them again? I’d better start plotting…
Weather: temperature 37 ºF, windchill 14 ºF, windspeed 10-20 knots, cloudy, becoming clear at night (with a wonderful view of the Southern Cross!)
|“Reflections of a Penguin Spotter”, by Andrea Burke aged 26-and-a-half (A. Burke).|
|Some of the penguins from the Bransfield Straight we were fortunate to meet a few days ago (A. Margolin).|
|Andrea, Kais, Kathy and John sorting and packing fossil corals during the night shift (R. Waller).|
|The day shift bringing in one of the last dredges! From left to right: Sandy, Tina, Suzy, Mariana, Mercer, Andrew, Laura, Chris, David, Kate and Skip (B. Pietro).|
|Andrew, David, Skip and Sandy preparing the kasten core for deployment (S. Jennions).|
|Lindsey, Suzy and David making ice cream today, from milk, sugar, strawberries, and the crucial ingredient: liquid nitrogen (A. Margolin).|