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Berserk in the Antarctic by David Mercy

By David Mercy

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Extra resources for Berserk in the Antarctic

Sample text

I found a piece of scrap paper amongst my things and quickly scribbled a note to my Swiss benefactor. ‘Going to Antarctica,’ I wrote. ‘Thanks for everything. Have a nice life. ’ I tossed the spare key inside and locked the tent. ‘Seeya,’ I said to the owner and Boris as I jumped back into the cab. They simply looked on in dismay, shaking their heads and mumbling to each other as we pulled away. The cab dropped me down at an ATM near the dock. Jarle wanted me to get him as much cash as I could – but I was unable to withdraw anything.

Jarle, who had done a great deal of solo sailing to get down to Tierra del Fuego on his own, including three days against the wind as he tried to turn the Horn east to west alone, driven to tears of exasperation before finally succeeding, had learned the hard way. Jarle had set off alone from Larvik, Norway at the age of 19 in the Berserk. Larvik, we would learn to know, was the home of a great many historic explorers, including the legendary Thor Heyerdahl, best known for fashioning the raft Kon-Tiki and floating it from South America to Polynesia.

We have loaded the Berserk to its gills with fuel and food, lugging 50 litres of gas by hand from a station a mile away. The day before, Jarle ordered 400 English muffin-sized breads from the local baker. They fill three large white rice sacks to the brim. We carry them back to the boat and stow them in the bow, in the spare bunk across from me. Manuel and I go into town one last time. He’s begging me to buy chocolate and cigarettes. We stock up on all the items we can afford, but he becomes a bit miffed when I opt for suntan lotion over more chocolate.

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