Day-10 (27 November 2018) – Bracing the Drake Passage

Sunrise: 3:58 | Sunset: 21:52

I woke up to a familiar sensation, only this time was much worse. The swell from the drake passage was just playing me around from side to side.

Drake passage, a sea famous for either its “drake’s shake” or “drake’s lake” is a meet between Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern ocean. Throughout this eleven days journey, I only met the former (drake’s shake, with the wave heights reaching 8 meter when I left for Antarctica, and 10 meter heights now).

As i mentioned before, i had never experienced seasick, and i had been to several boats ride, even the smaller ones. But here in this expedition, i experienced seasick at the first time, and the journey back from the Antarctica was the worst.

I had my breakfast as usual, but i immediately lock myself in the cabin soon afterward feeling nausea. I only went out at 9 am to return the boots and the velcro boat group to the tender pit at deck-3.

I attempted to follow 9:30 am session “the antarctic treaty” with heavy feeling of nausea. I hate drake passage. There was also 11 am presentation session of “Leadership lesson from the heroic age of Antarctic Exploration” but i chose to lay myself down in the cabin.

I went out for lunch and had all my favourite food in display: vegetable curry, creamy tomato sauce pasta and corn soup. Got them all in quite nice portion, not to much and not to small, even though the nausea felt worst at that time. Few hours later i couldn’t hold it anymore and puked all my lunch out. Sorry had to mention this, but this was somewhat monumental period for me. I had never had seasick like this before, hell, i never had a seasick! It just got the best of me.

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At 2:30 pm, i was finally able to attend a session delivered by Delphin titled “Why do they argue about global warming?”. I have been putting so much interests with this topic and i just had to come and listen about it despite the seasick.

Delphin is a marine biologist and one of his research has been about global warming impact on the birds in polar region. So he’s quite an expert on that, although he is not a climatologist. His presentation has been developed with reference of so many scientific publications, articles, and i think it is one of the most systematic and comprehensive presentation so far about global warming. It is made for public, he knows his audience so as not putting too many scientific details yet able to quote some to convince where the facts are coming from and are as legitimate as they are. And he delivered the topic in a basic manner so that after hearing his presentation it only wanted me to learn much more about this sophisticated issues we have on this planet earth.As other presentation onboard MS Midnatsol, they are exclusively developed for MS Midnatsol by the expedition crew who is a group of scientists, and therefore photographing and video recording are not allowed. I do wish i could share with you all what i have listened and learned, but i all i can do is share a very small portion of what i had learned and i’m sure it’s nothing compared to listening to the whole presentation delivered by Delphin.Few things that i learn and i would love to share are (and this is mainly taken from Delphin’s presentation about global Warming):

  • Global warming is simple: it is a rise in the average temperature  on the earth surface and at the sea. So, believing in global warming means: believing that there is a rise in the average temperature in the earth surface and at the sea.
  • Despite the arguments about whether global warming is true or not, There ARE numerous scientific publications by groups of scientist, that proof that the level of temperature has risen more than earth have experienced before within the span of 200,000 years. (Since this is a blog, i will not making quotations to any scientific publications or any foot note)
  • So, Asking whether or not do you believe in global warming is like asking whether or not you believe in gravity.
  • During the session, some arguments about global warming were also displayed as well as a petition signed by thousands of people stating their disagreement about global warming (which of course, although it claims to be signed by 9000ish scientists, only 1% of them study about global warming)
  • Now though, the arguments that often being talked about, especially in the US these days are whether or not we believe in human-induced global warming.
  • Are we contributing to the global warming? As we all know the greenhouse gasses such as CO2 keeps the earth’s heat on the surface, and one the most contributing CO2 is oil industry.
  • The global warming issue cannot be separated with other issue such as cheap energy, overpopulation, and religion. And some of those issues are still taboos to be talked about, and therefore were not presented during the session.

The session if i can summarize, was about the basic facts about global warming and not about what we can do (so it’s more on basic awareness), but it also tells how complex it is and why we haven’t reached anything yet to prevent it from worsening.

After the presentation i went back to my cabin and contemplating about global warming and went to dinner. This is a captain’s dinner menu, and we were seated in the assigned table (mine is number #84) and i’m excited to reunited with the fellow passenger i’ve met before in this table. Two of them were one of the campers and i excited to listen to their stories. As the story go, they did not sleep at all the whole night inside the camp, and why would they? I would’ve had the same thing as well, they did the small hike and found some colonies of chinstrap penguin. The tent was comfortable and warm, the sounds of the winds can be heard clearly, the penguins and the snow falling also can’t be missed, but i think they couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. If i have the chance to revisit Antarctica, i think i would be doing camping.

Now talking about the vegetarian dinner menu, the entree is almost the same with the first one, the main menu also the same, the salty mock-chicken steak. And i just couldn’t put them all in due to the seasick, i must apologize for not eating them all, and excused myself to the group and left the dining table early. It really was the worst day in the ship (blame the drake!)

But hey, it’s the only way to get to the heaven (namely Antarctica), and it makes me more appreciative about the whole journey more than ever.

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Asana Kusnadi
I'm Asana Kusnadi from Semarang Indonesia. Some of my friends call me Mei, it is taken from my Chinese Name. I was born in Semarang, capital city of Central Java and lived there until I graduated from University. After graduated i worked in Sumatera island and it's been almost 9 years now i live in Riau Province

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