A stunning day today as we sailed on calm waters past icebergs lined up on the horizon and in the foreground. The highlight before lunch was a visit by two humpback whales about a couple of hundred meters away from the ship – breaching right up out of the water repeatedly. My first whale sighting ever and it’s a thrill. The landscape is such a contrast now. For our first week we saw only heaving seas full circle – as though all memory of the solidity and shapes of land needed that time to be obliterated from our memory. Now we have moved into a strange new wonderland with the icebergs placed around our field of vision, almost incongruously architectural, geometric, with such absolutely pure clean lines in contrast to the sea’s fluidity.
Photo – Zina Sofer
In the afternoon I gave a demonstration and performance on the bridge, with crew and voyagers who were interested crowding into the space. Apparently 5 albatross were hovering about, one whale, and some dramatic large icebergs very close while I played. The Korean film team who are going to be at Mawson over winter to film the penguin colonies were there to film the event. I played my new song, Mary Doumany’s ‘Ice’, Larry Sitsky’s ‘Fantasia’ , Martin Wesley-Smith’s ‘Bonzer Little Things’, and ‘The Boatman’ with Tom the Scottish mountaineer on the pipe.
The consistent engine noise is the only thing I find rather wearing on the ship. I am used to a quiet life! – find it hard to think clearly, most noticeable when I try to play from memory, especially now we are using both engines to power ahead and make up some lost time.