I am locked in a small hotel in Hobart turned into a quarantine, tempted to write a story named “Tasmanian quarantine”, but, honestly, I can’t.
I could lament how unlucky, or brag how courageous we are to endure this isolation. I could show you how tiny the room is, in which I feel I could touch all corners at once if I stretched my hands and legs wide enough. I could show you how miserable a view from my sealed window is, basically, to a parallel, sister-building wall, 3 meters away. Or, I could even show you the catchy quarantine messages written on the walls of the underground garage, where one can reserve 30 minute time window to exercise each day if agreed to wear gloves and face mask and escorted by a guard.
But, honestly, I am not in the mood for all that now. What I want to say is that as the time of our long-anticipated research voyage to the Southern Ocean is approaching, we should be exuberant that this voyage will happen after all, given the times we live in.
A bit over two weeks remain before we sail towards the Macquarie Ridge on Research Vessel Investigator. So here I am, with an open bottle of this superb Tasmanian sparkling delivered on the first day to my tiny quarantine room, courtesy of a Hobartian, a friend, a colleague, and a sea wolf, Mike Coffin, from whom I will soon be learning the ropes on my maiden research voyage. Celebrating a small victory, sending regards, and thinking positively about the days that are in front of us!