The eye of the hurricane

It’s windy outside. Well, it’s more than just windy, it’s SUUUPER windy. In fact, our expedition leader just came over the loud speaker to announce that we are in type 2 hurricane conditions. I can literally hear the howl as the wind whips and scrapes past our ship. It’s amazing, really, that we can sit here safely in our heated little bubble (aka the National Geographic Explorer) sipping on hot chocolate and watch as the gale force winds rip by us at nearly 80 miles per hour. 100 years ago, we’d have had little chance of surviving these conditions in even the most modern of ships. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in just a century… Judging by the subtle grin on his face, I’d say our captain takes pleasure in the excitement of a little wind and wave action. I have to admit, I too enjoy the rough seas. It becomes much more of an adventure when it’s a struggle just to stand up straight, let alone try to walk through the halls without spilling my tasty hot chocolate when the boat is pitching in 20 foot waves. And what’s even more fun is riding the stationary bike during stormy passages – it’s like riding through a bumpy hillside, up and down, up and down, up and down, over and over and over again. But my favorite activity of all? This was something I discovered on my ship in Alaska and it still holds true. During the roughest, toughest, craziest of stormy days, I absolutely love jumping in the shower and holding on for dear life. It’s as close of an experience as I can imagine to being trapped inside a washing machine that’s tumbling down a mountain, but boy oh boy is it a fun time. There’s something strangely comforting about the hot water splashing around everywhere during those weightless moments when you feel as if you’re flying after the boat launches off a massive wave. It’s one of those feelings that words cannot describe (picture roller coaster in the heat of tropics during a rainstorm?) and you just have to experience for yourself. So for those of you who are planning any trips to sea, cross your fingers for at least one day of rough seas so you too can join the high octane adventure shower club!

 

Wandering albatross - the largest flying bird in the world. Graceful even in the windiest conditions

The sun fighting through the clouds

And old whaling ship on South Georgia Island

Waves battering against the side of our ship

Wind and waves - epic!