25 January 2007
We have enjoyed a number of birthday celebrations during the winter, the last of which was for me yesterday.
Starting the party with a bare chested ‘French / Russian Haka’ from my crewmates provided a unique and energetic mixed cultural performance. The Haka is a traditional war dance of the Maori people from New Zealand. While I was thankful that this was not a declaration of mutiny on board, I was however obliged to return the challenge, forced outside into the frigid -40˚C polar night to give the Kiwi response.
Zagrey and Tiksi, our two dogs, looked on with confusion at their crazy team mates dancing half naked on the ice. Returning inside I was lucky to receive a number of gifts including special reminders of home, an Agnes b watch and a Mammoth carving from Gamet. Making the most of each national specialty on board we continued with a nip of Russian vodka to heat up and a leg of tender New Zealand lamb accompanied by fine French wine!