Prufrock in the Southern Ocean

The great thing about poetry is that it can be interpreted many ways. I have decided that with selective grabs, T.S. Eliot’s ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ can be applied to our current situation. When he says he has ‘Measured out his life with coffee spoons’ he is talking of how the monotony of life at sea is punctuated only by meal breaks accompanied by tea and coffee. When he says “Do I dare to eat a peach?’ he is wondering if doing so will make him sea-sick or not. The talk of ‘where the women come and go and talk of Michelangelo’ is a clear reference to the ship’s bar/library where there is a constant flow of people coming and going, participating in inane small talk to pass the time and the “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled” is a clear reference to wet landing.

The rocking of the boat is now constant and with are well into the ‘furious fifties’ latitudes. I think we have passed the Antarctic convergence where the circular current around Antarctica meets the bottom of the Southern Ocean. This is an area rich in sea life, but also marks a considerable drop in ocean and air temperature.

There was meant to have been a series of lectures today, the first being at 1000. However, when Rodney discovered that all the chairs in the lecture room had been piled into one corner by the movement of the boat, he decided to ‘hold fire’.

We must make our own entertainment for the day. Luckily I have about 200 photos from yesterday that need editing.

Before I started editing the photos I decided to play a game called Dream Chronicles. Right at the end of the game is a maze that you walk through much in the same style as a first-person shoot-em-up. The type of game that normally gives me motion sickness. Well, the combination of that and the moment of the boat finally tipped me over the edge and I was sick. It came and went quickly and was not totally unpleasant. I had expected it for 13 days and it finally arrived and now a few minutes later I feel fine. I just need to stay away from those first-person perspective games.

The sea has picked up and I have spent most of the afternoon lying down as that seems to greatly reduce any feelings of nausea. A sailor has just come around to all the cabins on my level and closed the storm shutters on the portholes. I would like to think that this is a courtesy measure to stop us being awoken by the midnight sun, but I fear they are being used for their designed purpose.

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