Seasickness can’t stop us

Tags: Lori Majewski

When music star Feist signed up to be on the expedition, she said that it sounded like “summer camp” for kids. Although I never attended summer camp as a child. I imagine this must be what it’s like.

Or perhaps it’s more like MTV’s The Real World: The Arctic. Forty-six strangers picked to live together at the top of the world aboard a Russian Sea Vessel. And when the sea stops being polite, suddenly it stars getting real. Hey, we are even being filmed (though for the Sundance Channel and not music television).

Last night the waters began getting rough. In fact, I am writing this blog entry with blurred vision.

One of the scientists aboard, Simon Boxall, says it’s the effect of a tiny patch meant to dispel seasickness; I placed one behind my right ear during our Iceland stopover to prevent seasickness. A lot of others did the same, but from I can tell, I’m the only one who’s experiencing the side effects FROM patch, and not the actual seasickness! I figured an oceanographer like Simon’s gotta know about these things, so I took his advice and peeled it off.

You may we wondering: How did a person who has never so much as been on a cruise before (other than the Circle Line around Manhattan) wind up on a 12-day trip that doesn’t have Carnival in the title?

First, you don’t say NO when you are asked to join an expedition to the High Arctic. Even those with only the most remedial knowledge of climate change knows there’s a crisis taking place. And from the looks of things — Cape Farewell creator David Buckland pointed out all the areas that were glacial only 20 years ago — this place is going to look very different, very soon.

Second: I’ve been a pop culture journalist for most of my career, Like the actors who believe that the more life experience one has, the more they can bring to their roles, I decided that after 15 years of writing about Hollywood types and the acts who reign at the top of the music charts, I needed to try something different. Just because we leave school doesn’t mean we should stop learning.

Finally, it occurred to me recently that I used to be much more adventurous. I used to love roller coasters; now I can barely look at them. I’ve been so eager to go to Africa on a safari, but as much as I love animals, I’m terrified of riding in an open-top jeep while lions prance nearby.

But as the saying goes, “When I die, I don’t want to realize that I have not lived.”

And so, the gal who just went camping for the very first time a few years ago (at Britain’s The Big Chill fest, which some have told me is actually Camping Lite), is now rolling on the waves with 43 people who have same goal: to see what’s really going at the front line of climate change, and report back on our findings. In a short while, Dr. Simon is going to give a presentation on this icy environs and what their fate is likely to be.If seasickness is the price I have to pay for this experience, then so be it!

An addendum:

Off-stage it’s not Feist but just Leslie.

Jarvis Cocker is so sweet and a real Briton. I love his thick, black spectacles.

Laurie Anderson, documentary crew member Zak Piper and I have been talking about the U.S. Presidential election as much as we can — need to retain our American-ness with so many Britons aboard.

Vanessa Carlton has already begun fusing vodkas — her first creation should be ready tomorrow, she says.

Martha Wainwright is the most fashionable one aboard, thanks to her adorable Nordic sweater, leg warmers and wool hat with Heidi-like plaits that hang down to her shoulders.

More to come!