Antarctica, Part 2: Shopping!

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing .” –Billy Connolly

Shopping for airline tickets wasn’t the only thing getting attention.   Clothes….of course clothes!   I live in Texas for gosh sakes and I’m not supposed to have suitable gear for the Antarctic…but I do. My clothes closet looks like I live in Duluth, MN, not in it-snows-once-every-ten-years-for-five-minutes Houston. But as we all know, this is a The Big  Trip and everything within my control will be as perfect as humanly possible without going crazy and further melting my credit card. Too much.

Quark supplied very. bright. yellow-is-not-my-color. parkas…which were ours to keep.  Waterproof, zip out fleece, very warm.  Exemplary job.  And on loan, very heavy Arctic Muck Boots.  Nice that we didn’t have to wrangle those items into a suitcase initially.  Still, packing was more than a bit challenging considering we travel only with carry-ons — Mr. TxP, a 20″ roll-on and me, a 21″ roll-on and each with a tote bag.   To make things even more challenging, we were limited on a checked luggage weight of 20KG and 5KG for the carryon with the threat that anything over weight would have to be left at the hotel and retrieved in some manner after the trip.  Note:  Leave enough space to pack parkas on return trip.

While February is still wintertime in the northern hemisphere, cold-weather clothing is already on sale. SierraTrading.com was my best friend. Being patient can get you discounts of up to 70% along with free shipping. So gloves of various styles, Icebreakers marino wool base layers, Smartwool tops and Columbia and Marmot brand waterproof outer shell pants found their way into my dedicated storage drawer. Joining the crowd, was some generic fleece pants, hats of various types, neck gators, and sundry items that I will list at the end.

The reading/research continued. Not like I was going to change my mind…or have buyer’s remorse…I just wanted to make sure I was well informed going into this trip.

Seasickness and my prevention strategy 

Of course, the best of plans can ‘go south’ when Mother Nature is involved. Everything, everyone, everywhere always added the proviso: “Based on weather conditions…”.  The favorite saying about the Drake Passage…all two days of transit…each way, “It can be the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake.” Which leads me to my next major prep.

A bit of a back story: When Mr. TxP made his first trip across the lesser pond to the U.S., it was aboard a ship. Bottom line, the crossing was so rough, he swore he would never get on an ocean-going cruise ship again. Fast-forward to July 2013, at the prodding of some acquaintances, we boarded the Emerald Princess with my super-duper bag of cure-what-ever-ails-you in hand and cruised for eleven days around the Baltic.   The trip was a success…meaning Mr. TxP didn’t get sick and we had fun as an added bonus.  We’ve since been cruising with a vengeance to attain ‘Your Royal Eliteness’ level.

So what was in our Anti-Sea Sickness Ziploc bag? From the first big-boat cruise, acupressure bands, over-the-counter Dramamine, and Rx Transderm Scope patches.   Because we had heard horror stories of the Drake Passage making hip-hop look like a waltz, we added Rx Phenergan, ginger capsules and an assortment of homeopathic therapies to the mix.  I’m happy to report, none was needed.

Clothing gear is being accumulated. We could stock a small pharmacy. Next to research…cameras!

~*~

Your first commercial break:  Apologies for jumping between past/present tense, active/passive voice and all the other English grammar rules that I have egregiously broken and will break in the future.  I’m having a difficult time keeping this missive neat and tidy as I am writing a report of past actions but at the same time injecting present time reflections and admonitions for the future.  As this is not a potential Pulitzer, please make your own mental grammar corrections and read on in the same spirit in which I’m sharing this wonderful experience!  — This now concludes my Public Service Announcement.

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