Monday, 21 October 2013

Follow the dot!

Although it feels like being out in the middle of the ocean, revealing this morning's position comes as surprise for many: Still very close to land we are in the "narrows" between the Capverde Islands and Senegal. But what looks tiny on the map is a stretch of water so wide that not even a Guinnes-Book-worthy visibility would permit the slightest view on either of them. The closest we go by the Capverde Archipelago is 75 nautical miles. Standing on the very top of FRAM you might see as far as 30 miles tops. 
So, open water all around, but the thought is thrilling that as of this night we are finally turning away from land and head for the middle of the vastness. And if we maintain speed we will reach the Equator within three days.
In the meantime there are works to be done, and I'm not counting the lectures, which are rather a pleasure to do. No: one particularly nasty task is getting the "Deep Store" organized (remember the first day?), where we store all the blue jackets that are handed out to our guests. It is basically a dark and hot cave, crammed with an stunning amount of pointy boxes that are forming hills and valleys which you have to brave with the means of the normal cave explorer, headlamp, solid shoes and sturdy clothes, that is.
So, if you dig spelunking in a sauna-hot place (35-40 degrees and so sticky that we have to measure the oxygen contents with a probe before going "in"), not bothered by scrambling over dirty boxes while other cartons are plummeting down on your head - well, then this is your place…
But it's not only work here, there is the usual leisure tea at 4pm, this time with live piano music, plus the occasional sunbath in blaming 29 degrees, watching flying fish go by.
In the evening the tension rises - the preparations for FRAM's Atlantic games are coming along full throttle. Tonight the first eliminations will already start tonight.
But this is something to be continued...