It’s New Years Eve in the Southern Ocean. We are bouncing around in the waves on the Drake Passage, which are now crashing against our ship. We’ve just finished a wonderful dinner and Graham invites us all to a toast at the bar, later on that evening.
It’s an expedition ship, so no one really dresses up for New Years, but the staff are out of uniform and a few people have tried to make an effort.
The expedition staff bring around glasses of champagne and Graham asks us to join him in a few toasts..
There are munchies, popcorn and other nibbles. Leah and I relax in the bar and chat to a number of our new friends, who stop by to wish us a Happy New Year! We are here for the long haul though and we watch as the bar slowly empties out. Many people are not feeling the greatest as we make our way through the ‘Drake Shake’! There are now about 30 people left. I look at Leah and say we should start dancing. The night is still young and there are a few hours to kill before the clock strikes the midnight hour.
I am surrounded by people who are passionate about nature, discovery, photography, and travel and who have already done extraordinary things in their life. Antarctica is rarely a place you visit first as you start your travels around the world and many of the people you meet around these parts are incredibly well travelled and have interesting stories to share.
These people are not afraid to dream. They believe that life is meant to be lived, and dreams do come true. There is no better way to spend New Years other than with people who live life to the fullest! Soon, many of the people are literally bouncing around on the floor. The movements of the ship are unpredictable and we grab on to the rails on the side of the bar to keep from tumbling to the floor as we try a few dance moves. I end up on the floor anyway, but am none the worse for wear. It must look quite funny to the people still seated but we don’t care. It is a fabulous night and we are celebrating the end of a fabulous journey and the friendships made along the way.
As we count down to midnight, I feel happy and content. The strains of Auld Lang Sae play in the background and the group join in. I think back to the start of 2010, when I watched the fireworks over Sydney harbour. What a different place to be for the start of my 2011 journey. I have a month left of my travels before I go home to start the next stage of my life. I intend to keep living a life that is meaningful and memorable. I will never forget 2010. Come what may in the future, it will forever be a standout year in my life!
A Very Happy 2011, to you my dear readers. I have appreciated you sharing my journey through 2010, your feedback and comments and support. I hope you have made a list of goals for 2011 and I do hope you find the courage to make those dreams come true! I do believe that we are the authors and creators of our destiny! Luck has little to do with it!
Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character. Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul. ~Author Unknown