It feels really good to be amongst these familiar surroundings yet it feels a little different. Normally I arrive in Argentina about to begin a contract working as Expedition Leader on board the ships heading to Antarctica. Usually at this time 100 eager passengers are about to board the Ice strengthened Russian ships in hope of experiencing an adventure of a lifetime.
It's neat being here for our own personal purpose, by the creation of our very own expedition.
It has been an emotional roller coaster having left Vancouver Island and now only 24 hours later we find ourselves situated near the bottom of the world.
-Leaving Alert Bay was the first big step and I was rewarded by a small gathering of dear friends who wished me safe travels as I boarded the B.C ferry. After 3 years of working on this dream, this project, I was finally leaving, all packed and ready to make this dream come true.
-After a short nights sleep in the van, Dean and I dashed about Victoria picking up the final crucial items, including my EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon).
-The BBQ at Geralds followed this busy day and it took my breath away. Close friends from all over Van Isle took the journey south to take part in the farewell festivities which included a surprise blessing, prayer and song by George whom originally comes from Alert Bay. With First Nation tongue, his blessings filled the room to the rhythm of his authentic drum. As he sung, I closed my eyes and could feel the drums vibration as he wished both Beth-Anne and I a safe journey.
THANK YOU GERALD AND APRIL FOR ARRANGING THE BBQ, it was a special night, one I will never forget.
-With still some packing to do we rose early and began filling and stuffing my already full duffle bags. They felt like Elephant Seals as we loaded them into the van and carted them off to the Victoria Airport. Beth-Anne and I were nervous about our oversized luggage but after paying a reasonable fee they were accepted and we were soon freed from their heavy loads for at least 24 hours.
-The final goodbyes took place. Beth-Annes mum, supporting her daughters adventureous lifestyle, reluctantly said farewell. I clung on to Dean who has been a solid rock, endlessly supporting me and helping me, it was pretty hard to let go. But we did and we strode forward knowing these two months will zip on by.
All our flights were on time and it was smooth flying. We both indulged in Air Canadas selection of movies. After days of final frantic prepping we were suddenly forced to sit and literally have nothing to do. We both became aware of our emotional state when each of us admitted that we cried during a really cheesey Hollywood flick. All to be expected I reckon.
-And so, one leg to go from Buenos Aries to Ushuaia which takes place early Sunday morning. I'm looking forward to meeting up with Keri, Greg and Magnus from the Northanger http://www.northanger.org/ and to really get this expedition underway.
Keep checking in as our journey to South Georgia draws near. Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley