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Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from The World's Most Extreme Workplace by Rachael Robertson

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Chapter 13      image

Adventure is not without risk

The last area of training was to become familiar with the boats we would use in Antarctica. The funny thing is there are only about three weeks of the year when the boats can be used. Even though summer is formally a three-month season it takes ages for the sea ice to disappear. The ice starts to melt early in the season, about mid December. But it's thick, and it's another eight or nine weeks before the bay is clear and we can use the boats. Very soon after that the cold returns and with it the sea ice. I was doubting the value of boating training but thought, what the heck. It could be useful, and I'm being paid to learn. If you listen to the stories of sailors they'll tell you the sea is a capricious mistress — you never turn your back on her. We nearly didn't make it.

Boat training and a near-death experience

Tuesday 12th October

Big day today. I'm feeling stiff and sore all over. We took the IRBs out into the ocean and practised our Man Overboard drills, flooding and restarting the outboards, flares, beaching, trailering and docking. My back muscles are aching from pounding over waves. This training has been harder for the women than the men I think. It's all so new. The men looked like they had grown up tying knots and backing trailers! They picked it up so quickly they were able to pitch in and help out, whereas Kirsten and I ...

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