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Friday, January 29, 2010

Happys for H

Position 0630 29th 4911 07310 trip 130 (22.5 hrs) DMG 103 Odd feeling having only open ocean between us and Tasmania. So beginneth act the umpteenth.

Into the last of the baguettes, now about 24 hours old, with marmelade and a dose from Herself from Windhoek to wash it all down. Luxury unbounded - we were eking out the bikkies a bit before Kergs. Desolation Island - that's what it would have been called if Cook had got there before Kerguelen. The early explorers tended to compare the lands they visited with the gardens and fields they were used to at home and missed the delicate diversity and the bleak beauty of places like Baie de L'Oiseau. The early settlers in Australia yearned for their rose gardens and lush grass and tried to plant them in the desert, completely ignoring the wonderful natural flowers and the astonishing adaptation of the vegetation and the animals. But desolate Kerguelen ain't - after all, it does have its own cabbage.

Time for a coffee - filtered courtesy of the chef - and to attack the block of choc with a pickaxe. Yeehaaa! I'm wearing my Kerguelen hat - I went for a walk around the little bay at Port aux Francais amongst the seals, penguins and rotting kelp screaming gulls and cormorants and took hundreds of photos. On the way I found two un-matched sneakers which i left there and a tea cosy fleece hat with ear flaps. Grotty, sandy smelling of aforesaid rot and bird poo. Took it home, rinsed it multi times till the water ran more or less clear and dried it on the radiator, to find it impregnated with the tiny sharp seeds that come from one of the (I think introduced) plants that grows everywhere. A bit prickly. The french call the seeds pics or perhaps piques as in piquant. So to work with the tweezers and I'm truly the old fart about the boonies now.

Hey Dale - good to hear from you! The Bunger Hills sound interesting but I suspect it's a good deal colder at 75+ south than it was at 75 north - we'd need a heater. Glad we gave you an excuse for a scotch - our ears are burning - we have a drop of the Talisker and we're due for a small dose so keep your ear flaps tight and we'll cuss at you too. All the best for Axel Heiberg.