Meeting with a fellow kiwi in the end of the world

16 Nov

Last week I met with a fellow kiwi Richard Sidey, who my good friend Hazel told me about when she was visiting me in Paraguay. He is working as a photographer on a cruise ship, go and check out his blog or website, there are some amazing photos (the last photo below I got from Sich’s blog –I hope you don’t mind me using it- it is taken by Jamie Scarrow and is of Sich taking a video of a Leopard seal on the Antarctic peninsula). I first emailed Sich back in Paraguay a couple of months ago, saying how I was trying to get to Antarctica and that I was planning on going to Ushuaia, so it was cool to finally catch up. The photo below is Sich showing me in the hostel the route the cruise ship had taken from the Arctic (that’s the big hunk of ice in the north of the world) to Ushuaia.

It was only a fleeting visit as just as the jug stopped boiling Sich got radioed back to the boat, but we will catch up again when he gets back from Antarctica. But was great to talk and get a bit of the inside goss on the industry, of which wasn’t that positive for my situation, but was helpful none the less. Sich was saying how the governing Antarctic body has put new regulations in place for the coming year requiring all cruise ships going to Antarctica to be fuelled by a bio fuel, or some different kind of fuel that is a lot cleaner. A lot of cruise ship companies have gone under as it is too costly to convert the engines (plus the economic crisis will be affecting passenger numbers). This has meant the Antarctic employment market is pretty flooded with experienced people, for example he was saying his expedition leader has been getting up to 40 applications a day from qualified super experienced expedition crew from other boats looking for work. Expedition crews take the tourists from the cruise ship in inflatable motor boats for excursions onto the ice. Although this doesn’t really affect me as I am willing to do whatever job is available, ie cleaning toilets, hopefully the Antarctic toilet cleaning market isn’t as flooded!

The thing I love is how people always try to help you on your personal mission. For example Sich who hadn’t met me had asked his expedition leader for me about work (but obviously not much chance there as was explained above), and when he heard that the local Chilean Airline that was bringing some of the passengers and workers here to Ushuaia was on strike he went and asked the staff captain if they were going to be short of staff as knew of a guy in town who could start right away. Good buzz, everybody is conspiring in your favour (aye sis).

PS Well done the All Whites (New Zealand soccer team), they have qualified for the soccer world cup in South Africa! The second time in New Zealands history, the last time was in 1982.

2 Responses to “Meeting with a fellow kiwi in the end of the world”

  1. Hana Fahy at 5:07 pm #

    Hey Hap,
    Jo forwarded me your blog. Craziness- My brother is soon to marry Sich’s sister, so he’s practically family! It’s a small world. Sounds like you’re having some epic adventures- good luck with Antarctica.

    • Hap at 7:22 pm #

      G’day Hana!
      Long time no hear, probably since in those crazy university days in the deep south. Small small world aye. Cheers for the good luck wishes, I hope your still using that angel like voice of yours and singing and smiling.

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