After many years of preparation, endless challenges (including a dismasting in the depths of the Southern Ocean) and 104 days at sea, Lisa last week arrived back in Albany, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, below 45 degrees. I can’t wait to hear her story in more detail, but for now, here are the 10 most pressing questions I had for Lisa:
Lisa: Surfing waves in the Southern Ocean, and finishing.
Jess: In that order?
Lisa: A lot of people would probably think the dismasting, but I actually think that it was the container ship collision [as they attempted to transfer fuel to Lisa after the dismasting, see Lisa’s blog about the incident here]. It just simply shouldn’t have happened. That would probably be the lowest lowlight.
Jess: What about the voyage surprised you?
Lisa: The amount of time that I would spend inside the boat. I thought I’d spend on deck but given the cold, I was indoors about 23 hours a day, I’d spend maybe an hour on deck, and that was broken up. I was surprised by how much my world shrunk to about 10 square meters.
Jess: At what point did you feel the coldest?
Lisa: When I sailed across the demisting track after the repairs had been completed in Cape Town, I got hit with a blizzard. I had about 2 inches of snow on the deck in a couple of minutes.
Jess: Was there anything you’d wished you’d packed?
Lisa: For the first half of the trip, a hard drive with all the DVDs that were left behind in Albany. That would have been really, really nice. I wish I’d had more variety in the meals I liked. Then just a few spares for the boat such as electrical switches, some heat shrink, electrical tape; I wish I’d packed more of stuff like that.
Jess: What was your favorite food while at sea?
Lisa: A freeze-dried dinner which was a bare burrito, and porridge. Love porridge; the way to my heart it through a nice hot bowl of porridge.
Jess: What did you crave most while at sea?
Lisa: I use to get really excited when I’d do radio interviews and things like that because I’d have a conversation with someone new. Good conversation was the biggest thing I craved. It really makes you aware of how much you rely on conversation.
Jess: What will you miss most about life at sea?
Lisa: Just the peace, even in a storm; sailing in the middle of nowhere, in the open ocean, on your own is a peaceful experience.
Jess: Would you do it again?
Lisa: In a heartbeat.
Lisa will be speaking at the Sydney International Boat Show this weekend, so make sure you head along to ask any questions of your own.