My name is Helen Jones and I’m a doctor employed by the British Antarctic Survey. For the next nine months I’ll be working on board the James Clark Ross as she performs scientific research in the Southern Ocean and supplies the British research bases of Antarctica.
I’ve started this blog in the hopes of entertaining and giving people a chance to see some pretty pictures. I might even throw some science in occasionally!
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Yesterday I turned from a pollywog into a trusty shellback
and I like to think it was done with some style. If you read my last post, you’ll
be aware that my co-conspirator, Paul, and I had weaponized the slops by
pouring them into condoms. We stole flour and old coffee grounds and put it
into paper bags to burst over the crew. War paint was applied (shoe polish) and
our fellow pollywogs rallied. The plan was explained; we would ambush the crew
as they came to search for us along the deck. Splitting into two groups, the
first would draw their interest by singing abusive songs and the second would
attack from the rear. We tooled up and went for it.
Rallying the troops
We fought a gallant action. I personally had the
satisfaction of landing a slops balloon straight on the cook’s chest. Which was
fairly wonderful if only because my aim is never good and a liquid filled
condom is not the most aerodynamic of projectiles! Watching the cook getting
hit with his own slops was fantastic. Paul managed to get hold of a hose and
soak most of the opposition before a glorious assault with a bag of flour in
which he himself was captured but managed to coat someone with a whole bag of
Paul and the Flour
Kerry achieved high distinction by hitting the purser with his
own cudgel! But the day came to a close when we were cornered by a high
pressure sea water hose used by a giant amongst the stewards, which blinded
most of us with salt water. We did, however, have the incredible satisfaction of
watching Maddy launch a sneak attack on the steward from a higher deck and
hitting him with the final bag of flour. A white powdery giant!
King Neptune's Court
It was then our turn to be brought before the court. The
plaintiff was placed into a chair, “cuffs” around their wrists, and a list of
the charges read out to them. With every charge a ladleful of slops was poured
over the head of the accused and then they had to kneel before the king and
queen of the sea and kiss the mackerel tied to the queen’s foot. The Queen had somehow rigged up a bra to squirt a truly revolting brown liquid which was apparently Kahlua and milk and therefore probably the only nice part of the whole thing! Medicine was
given (a truly revolting mixture of soy sauce, Tabasco, mustard and lime; try
it some time) and the newly inducted shellback was led away to be hosed off!
Hearing the Charges
So what were my charges? Apparently I say absolutely a LOT
when I agree with people. And I had unkempt RED hair in the saloon. And I had
wound the senior officer up with use of terms like the “blunt and pointy ends”.
But my worst charge was being one of the ringleaders in the plan to steal the
slops. Immense. I’ve never been a ring-leader before!
Happy now? Absolutely!
(No seafarers were harmed in the making of this post).