We had our initiation ceremony yesterday and I survived!

Laughed the whole way through, and then had to go through it again because, thanks to Dan, I was listed as a “special case” haha. I am not permitted to give any more details than that because I’ve sworn to keep the secrets of the Polarstern safe :-) If anyone wants to find out what the ceremony entails, they’ll just have to cross the Antarctic Circle on the Polarstern sometime haha.

The point is, I survived, and now I have my very awesome Antarctic Circle crossing certificate! :-D I am very proud if you couldn’t tell :) It has my name on it, and the new name they gave me (everyone got one) at the beginning of the ceremony.
Dan was the one who came up with my name, and I think it’s perfect: Spastic Penguin hahahahahahaha. When it was read to me I just about died laughing! I plan to frame the certificate and hang it in my office when I get home. One down, two to go! I have the equator and the Arctic Circle left now.

Spastic Penguin - now afloat in the Southern Ocean Photo Credit: Hannah Zanowski
Spastic Penguin – now afloat in the Southern Ocean
Photo Credit: Hannah Zanowski

This trip has been remarkable. I feel so much joy looking back on all the new things I have seen and learned in the past two months, and for the first time in a long time I feel genuinely happy. I am proud of myself. It’s a nice feeling!

It’s my new mission to find a way back to Antarctica at some point. I don’t think I can live my life without seeing this place again! Plus I know I’m gonna miss the penguins :-) I’d definitely like to go to sea again, and I think I would get far more gratification from my work if I could do research with both models and observations. I guess I’ll see where I end up in the next few years, but my plan is to spend at least some of that time on the ocean haha.

In the meantime, I suppose I’ll start slowly preparing to get back to the normal, landlubber life I typically lead haha. If only I could take some penguins with me…

;-) Alas, for their own good it’s best that their only form of captivity is in pictures and memories.


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