Monday, 1 February 2010

Va-room-va-room the engine room

Uneventful. That’s the way we like it. Storm free. Gently rolling seas. Fram rolls steadfastly northward. The weather is fair and the Drake induces a gentle roll to Fram, just enough to lull one to sleep. The lecture halls are busy throughout the day and they are full. The atmosphere on board is one of quiet contentment. Everyone is reveling in their memories of ice, mountains, penguins, whales, seals, wind, seabirds, snow, more ice, solitude, crisp fresh air, Polar Cirkle boats, the Antarctic Circle and, day after day of the most spectacular scenery on earth. All cherished memories, all fresh, vivid. Today is a chance to reflect on all of the wonderful things that we have seen and done in the past 11 days.

We relax on Fram forgetting about the massive amounts of high tech machinery we rely on and the people that maintain it. Huge engines provide the energy that keeps us moving, there is heating and ventilation systems, electrical systems and water systems. We don’t think about the team of engineers and sailors that keep the whole thing running. For the most part they are invisible and that means they are doing their job perfectly. It is their dedication to their job and knowledge of their craft that keeps Fram purring along, rolling steadfastly northward towards Cape Horn.