We have been anticipating for month, getting ready for weeks for weeks, and it’s finally time! We are off to Antarctica! You will not hear from me until I get back. We will be taking a break electronically, no cell phones, computers, or tablets. When we were in the Galapagos, the ship had computers but they were old and used DOS. They did not even have the “@” symbol for typing in email addresses! Luckily Al remembered DOS commands, including the three-key combination for “@”. He used to repair computers in the navy, back in the 1960’s. He was able to get onto his FaceBook page and into his email. However, the ship used a server in Portugal. When we returned home, he had a surprise; his gmail account had defaulted to Portuguese! He had a heck of a time getting it back to English! And “English” in Portuguese is spelled with an “In” instead of “En”! So this time we will be incognito, like the Navy SEAL’s.
Speaking of the Navy SEAL’s, I wanted to buy a ski mask to protect my face from frostbite, in case there is a -60 degree wind chill factor. Our local sports academy did not have one, so Al said, “Let’s try the Army-Navy Surplus store.” We went there and they had exactly what we wanted, a black hood that fits over our entire head and neck, and is made of neoprene. This new technological material traps the heat in, takes sweat away from the body, is lightweight, and is breathable! But I sure do look like a special ops person – or a bank robber – when I wear it! As it is all black, Al says we will fit right in with the penguins! Now that’s an advantage I had not thought of; we can infiltrate the penguin colonies and they will never suspect a thing!
I started packing a week ago. First I packed all the things I wanted to take. A few days later, I took out things I really didn’t need. A few more days went by and I took out the items that I absolutely did not have to have, so now I have the essentials and won’t go over the airline’s weight limit for luggage. By the way, I did not pack any make up or accessories. I don’t need hairspray because the tactical hood I just bought will flatten out any style anyway; I had my hair cut really short for the trip, an easy-to-care-for “wash and wear” hair-do. I will not be taking any glamour shots on this trip! The only problem was that I had packed all my cold weather clothes, and the weather turned cold, wet, rainy and windy here in sunny Florida! So I have been wearing a wool shawl and running to get in out of the cold when Al and I go places! My friends have been saying, “Gee, Bobby, you look cold. Are you sure you want to go to Antarctica?” and I reply, “Yes, I will be so bundled up in three layers of clothing that I will be sweating down there!”
I have been getting ready physically, too. I climb two flights of stairs, walk up a 90 foot ramp, and exercise on the treadmill. In a half hour, I can now walk one and a half miles on a slight incline at three miles an hour.
These pictures of marigolds and plumbago were taken while wearing my cold weather gloves. The marigolds were seedlings that fell out of the tub in the front yard. I transplanted them to the back flowerbeds and they have flourished! The picture in the center is a crown of thorns.