It's a safe bet the memory of last New Year's Eve won't blur into all the others over time for Sara Hollingshead of Hull.
The 18-year-old, a senior at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, was on a ship off the Antarctic Peninsula. It was still dusky light outside at midnight in the Antarctic summer, she said.
"We made resolutions for the New Year and then rang in the New Year with music and a dance party," she said.
"A few people ran outside and ran around on the deck," she said.
Sara, daughter of Hull's provisional fire chief Robert Hollingshead, joined about 65 U.S. and international students on a trip sponsored by the Students on Ice expeditions organization of Canada. Hollingshead "provisional" arather than "acting' chief, I'm told, since the position is vacant now with last chief's retirement took effect early Jan.
It coincided with the International Polar Year being observed 2007-2009. apaprently 2-year extended observance, March 2007 - March 2009
The expedition gathered for orientation at the Argentine port of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego at South America's southern tip two days before setting sail Dec. 28.
The oldest passenger, Dr. Fred Roots, 86, a Canadian researcher, has been going to Antarctica more than 50 years, she said.
The Ushuaia, a 278-foot "ice-classed" and "ice-strengthened" ship, Sara said it's full name is the MV Ushuaia....google suggests it's MV Ushuaia or M/V Ushuaia, so, since Ushuaia is the name on the bow, that may be enough spent the next two days crossing the Drake Passage, where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet, Sara said.
First landing was at Elephant Island where, she said, explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton had left some of his shipwrecked men before he continued on to South Georgia island to get help. "And when they returned, they were all alive," she said of the 1916 rescue.
Near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at Brown Bluff, Sara's seems sure its Brown Bluff, and expedition organization map uses that, too, although news stories on boat problems use Browns or Brown's"we were greeted by over 5,000 penguins," she said. "It was amazing."
editors wanted me to reference the mishaps that can/did occur on other tour trips to Antarctica in recent weeks....Sara was unaware of the Dec. 28 cruise ship bumping into a glacier/iceberg but I prefer not to highlight her ignorance of this, for whatever reason...maybe the ship didn't tell them The expedition went off without trouble unlike a Norwegian cruise ship that after losing engine power Dec. 28 reportedly drifted or got pushed by wind up against a glacier or iceberg wire story says glacier, another account said iceberg and no injuries or significant damage reported near the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula. reported at Brown Bluff or Brown's Bluff area to shorten story, I'm omitting reference to sinking in Nov. when the ship Explorer reportedly hit ice and sunk in Antarctica's South Shetland Islands area Nov. 23 or 24 (accounts differed). Wire story reported it was an iceberg but ship co. later described it as a piece of submerged ice..All onboard were safely rescued. "Nothing like seriously happened -- nobody fell overboard," expeditioner Chanel N. Lufkin, 14, of Quincy, a ninth grader at South Shore Christian Academy, said.
It was very windy never really cold, surprisingly, Sara said. Obliged to respect wildlife, like the elephant, leopard and Weddell seals students saw, students could let animals come up to them but were not allowed to go to them, Sara said.
"It was interesting to see humans take a backseat in Antarctica."
When she and a friend were sitting on a rock, a penguin came up close, not much more than arm's reach away, she said. "It was very cool."
One time it was announced some humpback whales had been spotted. "So everyone ran from the dining room to the bow," she said.
On Jan. 4, the expedition's last full Antarctic Peninsula day, "People were enjoying snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights and just enjoying the view around us."
"Her goal is to hit all the continents before she's 21," Kathleen Hollingshead, Sara's school nurse mother, said of her middle daughter.
Sara Hollingshead has been to China and to Europe under the People to People student ambassadors programs.
With two of the seven continents -- Australia and Africa -- to go, she just might make it.