We are still crossing the notoriously rough Drake Passage on our way to Antarctica. All day, 10 metre swells and 60 knot winds toss the ship about: it’s like being inside a washing machine. It is impossible to read or focus on my laptop, so I do the only thing I am capable of: I listen. I head to the lecture/movie theatre in the bowels of the ship. This is a good place to be in rough seas as there is less movement down low. My brain is a sponge, soaking up gems of information from the onboard experts, even if my writhing stomach occasionally distracts me.