How much time did you spend on the Southern Ocean? For example, crossing it in a ship, flying over it, swimming in it (sounds very cold!!).
2 years, I arrived by ship from the Falklands via the Peninsula, spent about 2 weeks sailing around before landing on Signy in the South Orkney's.
My job was as a marine biologist so I had something to do with the Southern Ocean pretty much every day I was there. Mainly I experienced it by looking out of a window 30-40 yards away from the base where I lived, or more directly at sea-level + about 6" from a small boat, I also dived in it from time to time and skinny dipped in it (once only!). I could hear it as i went to sleep at night and when I woke up in the morning.
- What was the ocean like at the time?
-- Did you get seasick?
-- Did you see whales or seabirds, or other marine life?
-- What sorts of activities did you do while crossing the ocean?
What was it like? like everything you'd imagine an ocean to be over a two year period.
Whales - very few and then only in the distance, dorsal fins as they came up for air.
Sea-birds - thousands and thousands (and thousands)
Seals - many hundreds and hundreds, (actually many thousands)
What did I do while crossing? I spent many hours looking at the ocean, I find the sea mesmerizing anyhow and when it is as constantly bumpy and exciteable as the Southern Ocean with ice bergs, pack ice and animals around it becomes particularly fascinating.
How did the ocean make you feel?
Mainly it made me feel alive. It's moods dictated much of my existence due to my job and also due to the fact that if it was calm or rough, liquid or frozen would dictate whether I could get off base easily (by boat, ski or skidoo) or via a hard slog overland.
Like anyone who has ever worked with the sea anywhere, it makes you respect it, you can never take it for granted and you are utterly nothing to it.
It brought pleasure when I could use it as a play-ground, for transport around the island, for diving, for the wildlife it brought to my doorstep and when in the evening of a dull overcast day we would set out to lay fishing nets followed by hundreds of sea birds swooping over the waves following our boat as it sped through the momentarily still oily waters - it was perfection.
If it was made rough by storms I would go somewhere I could watch the full force of the waves breaking on the land and the penguins as they struggled ashore through the maelstrom it caused.
When it froze it was magical - friendly and benign at first until you realise that this was just a new set of things to resepct. Ice bergs surrounded by sea ice that creaked, groaned and banged menacingly as the ice rose or fell against their sides with the tide. Bergs that you knew could tip up and would break all the ice for miles around you if they did, but usually didn't...
Is that enough? I could go on. As a marine biologist living 30-40 yards from the sea on an island the Southern Ocean was as central to my life as you can imagine it was.