As I write, three to four metre rough swells slide the ship over, then it rights itself. I think it’s akin to being in a washing machine, possibly on the ‘delicates’ cycle. It’s quietly making most of us nauseous or, with the aid of medication, terribly sleepy. Cupboards not properly locked break open, spilling content on to the floor (which roll backward and forward in a parody of the waves).
I’m coping by lying down with my eyes closed, letting the waves lull me like a child in a rocking cradle. I fall asleep.
The ship is full of women doing – in large part – something similar. Another 24 hours to go. We will get our sea legs soon (which is hard to believe when you feel motion sick). More motivating is when we remind ourselves and participants that once we get to the Peninsula, it will be flat.
The days working up to the Drake Passage were extraordinary. The women from around the world met, like tributaries for a mighty river, in all parts of the world, converging in Ushuaia. There were handshakes, hugs, tears, laughter and a pervading sense of disbelief – ‘We’ve made it!”
The room we were working in likely would have been comfortable for a group half our size. However, no matter how squeezy, the shared intention for being present inspired everyone to be gracious, generous and forgiving. The room actually helped establish the sense of team quickly. Once we are in Antarctica, we will also have time for deep individual exploration and reflection.
The commitment to quality time on the ground prior to departure was suggested by our first cohort, in 2016. It was the right thing to do. We have all come to know each other far better as a result. We have focused on the strategy of Homeward Bound and the place of each woman in executing it. We have gone through a comprehensive guidelines process, signed the code of conduct and agreed on the risk protocols. We have also done a deep-dive into the narrative of abundance (what it means to be fulfilled and successful) as a team and gone a layer deeper into the Human Synergistics Life Styles Inventory diagnostic, which is our core self-awareness tool.
Now we are journeying across the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula.
There is no question that Homeward Bound is an extraordinary initiative. It is a collaboration on a global scale with brilliant women all wanting to amplify their leadership capability for the greater good.
Needless to say, rough waters make for a bit of a bunker-down mentality – but we are doing it together. Got to love that.