Anne introduced Carol with much affection.
They are best mates and have known each other for 20 years. She described Carol as having a rich and varied life.
As an Immigration Lawyer, she had worked on Capitol Hill in Washington. Her previous work with children with behaviour difficulties made her well prepared to work in Congress.
Carol began by thanking those who supported her Rotary Club by collecting at the Mission Concerts.
Her talk was about her very recent visit to Antarctica.
So recent, she had to go into Lockdown for Covid on her return.
She went on a Quark Expedition on the ship ‘Ocean Adventure’. She described the trip as the best of 75 countries she has visited in her life.
The company collated all the photos of the voyage and provided a copy to the passengers to use to show others about their trip.
They left from Argentina, four were turned away because they had travelled through Italy; they were not taking chances with getting Covid on their ship. Their trip would be the last for a very long time to Antarctica. It took them two days to travel via the Direct Passage, also known as the ‘Great Shake’ because of the roughness of the water. There were 112 guests and 94 crew. 57 were American, 22 Australian and Carol, who has an American accent but has a New Zealand Passport, was the designated Kiwi.
The youngest was 22 the oldest was 82 Each passenger was given a yellow jacket which had a patch on the sleeve which could be swiped as the passengers disembarked and returned to the ship. No one would have survived a night if they had been left behind. Each day, twice a day for four days they left by Zodiacs to travel to, land and tramp on the landmass. Their guides were scientists, so prior to each adventure they were given lectures by the specialists about what they would witness. The wildlife they saw was quite stupendous, it was very up close and personal because the creatures were quite unafraid and tame. They saw chinstrap penguins, four different kinds of seals, 100 humpbacks so close some swam under the zodiac boats. They saw Minky whales and a type D Orca a rare Orca. 60 of the 112 guests had a polar plunge.
They were given a shot of vodka as they exited the water, many retired to the spa pools. Carol said she wasn’t sure if she was on fire or frozen. They saw the sun come up at dawn, they had a Captain’s reception on arrival; a barbecue on deck, plated dinners and buffet breakfasts, they saw a supernova moon, and the stars were incredible at night, volcanic steam coming off the beach. Each day was better than the day before.
They saw an icebreaker heading towards Antarctica as they returned to Argentina, was the last trip for the season and the last until Covid ends. Helena Thanked Carol for her most enjoyable speech Claire ended the meeting by reminding people to bring a spade to the tree planting, (now postponed until further notice) and encouraged us to attend the District Changeover and reminded us that ‘ many hands make light work’.