Life On An Australian Antarctic Science Voyage

21/10/2015 6:31 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
Colin Cosier / Fairfax Media

While the 100 scientists and crew heading off to Antarctica on Thursday will miss Christmas and New Year's Eve with their loved ones, they wouldn't have it any other way.

Voyage leader Leanne Millhouse has done the extraordinary trip several times and said the crew always enjoy themselves.

"It can be a bit boring on the ship so we find out what people's skills sets are and as long as it's safe, we do it," Millhouse said.

"We've had Zumba lessons on the helideck before and there are two gyms, one's quite small, actually they're both small, but one is really small."

Scanning the internet is not an option for bored scientists but they can receive emails and there are a few phones on board for calls with loved ones.

And as for the food?

"It's really, really good," Millhouse said.

"The guys in the galley do a brilliant job feeding everyone. This time it will be a pretty full ship with 116 people and all their provisions are loaded on in Hobart."


The galley on a previous voyage. Picture: Colin Cosier / Fairfax Media

The aim of the year-long trip is to get to Antarctica to conduct important research and right now, the only thing standing between the voyagers and their summer base is the epic southern seas.

"There can be some pretty nasty days," Millhouse said.

"Sometimes things will be flying around your cabin but you try not to move because that's the safest thing to do.


The ship Aurora Australis in Antarctica. Picture: Supplied / Fairfax Media

"Once you've got your sea legs, though, It's pretty spectacular to be on the bridge and watch waves washing over the bow of the ship.

"I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do this."

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