So, as I type [and think] that line above, I gulp and feel a bit nervous and excited and then some all at once. I feel no apprehension though as the opportunity to go to the Ice is a privilege far greater than that silly feeling.

Really, I just can’t believe that the year has happened so fast and it is nearly time to pack some bags, board a few planes and then live on sea ice for a few weeks – i.e. put into practice what has been pure theory and speculation for so long.

My biggest fear is running out of paper for drawing and painting which makes me laugh too. I am not limited in the amount of equipment I can take which is refreshing, but having no limits is not always the best for me. I am very good at over packing with the thought of needing something “just in case”, but in reality, this is probably the best thinking for this kind of trip where there are no shops or places nearby to get something to solve a problem and where you have to improvise regularly. Gaffa tape, cable ties, hot glue gun, sewing kit, rope, baby wipes and wire are things that I regularly think will solve many tricky situations. I just hope I don’t forget anything – but I think as long as I refer to my now epic lists, I’ll be ok.

Coffee and dark chocolate are pretty high on that list too.

I now have a new passport with an appropriately serious and also funny photo. There are only a few things that I need to purchase for the trip – extra batteries for my camera and go pro, a neoprene face mask for skidoo travels, some more paper, a couple more paint brushes and one more light from Bunnings.

In ten days, I will need to have all my equipment packed to be shipped down in advance and will be left with just sketch books to tide me over until I depart. This will be a bit weird as I have been very busy and focussed on painting and photographing and have had a good daily routine with these activities. I suppose some time apart from these will give me a chance to miss it enough to fuel productivity later.

Speaking of productivity, this is what I have been up to most recently:

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