By Kelly Strzepek

After 6 weeks away I have returned to solid ground, and I’ll be honest, it’s taking some adjusting. The image here was taken from the webcam at the stern of the ship the day we had swell approaching from all directions. I hope this helps explain why I was sliding around the floor. If you tilt your head to get the horizon straight then you’ll really understand where I’m coming from. I’ve regained my land legs after a few uneasy moments, and any day now I’ll feel like seeing other people. For me, this is the strangest aspect of the return home.  You become so accustomed to seeing the same faces, day in and day out, that you experience sensory overload once on shore where the streets are teeming with people. It was even worse when Customs and Immigration boarded the ship, I was so alarmed to see someone I couldn’t recognize walking through the mess I had to resist shouting “PIRATE!”. I can’t imagine what I’d be like after months on the ice.My trip to the Antarctic was nothing short of spectacular. If there is just one thing to take from all the amazing experiences on Mawson’s Centenary voyage, it is that I love being out on the ocean. The science, and the scientists, fascinate me. I sincerely hope someone wants me to study coral, or indeed anything, closer to the Antarctic continent  so that I can return. In the mean time I need to make up for my absence and do a little bit of hard work……So it is back to the mill, back to the radiocarbon lab, back to the wet lab and back to Hobart in a few weeks for some more analyses. It is a blessing that I am so busy as I find myself staring off in to the distance a lot, thinking of icebergs and penguins and all the science in between. Sigh, can I go back yet?