Oamaru historian and author David Harrowfield is aboard the Spirit of Enderby as part of the Heritage Expeditions voyage titled Ross Sea - in the Wake of Scott and Shackleton which is considered the ultimate Antarctic voyage.
He reports exclusively for the Oamaru Mail from on board the Spirit of Enderby using the high seas satellite phone.
His first report has the Spirit of Enderby making its way through the Ross Sea.
"We had three days of plugging though moderate and at times, heavy pack ice and saw some amazing shapes and some bright blue floes, along with excellent tabular [or tabletop] icebergs.
"Of great interest was the sighting of the rare Ross seal, one of four Antarctic seal species, the others are the Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard.
"We saw two Ross seals and yesterday, we saw all four seal species, quite a rare thing to do.
"There are many beautiful oceanic flying birds and the Adelie and Emperor penguins, plus the whales.
"The meals are extremely good but the Ice Culture Restaurant was rather quiet this morning. We are now in the Ross Sea and conditions are a bit rough which meant it was rather interesting trying to shower this morning.
"Tomorrow, we hope to visit the historic huts of Shackleton at Cape Royds  and Scott at Cape Evans [1911-1912].
"Each day I work on the log for the passengers and so far, have compiled 20 pages. Heritage Expeditions will circulate the log once photographs are added.
Dr Harrowfield's second message finds him at Cape Royds.
"Woken by Rodney Russ at 5.15am in the morning to gaze from the porthole at outstanding views.
"We landed on Blacksand Beach, Cape Royds and had a 30-minute tramp over a moon-like terrain with volcanic rocks sparkling in the bright sunlight, from feldspar crystals.
"Mount Erebus magnificent in her glory with a wisp of steam spiralling from the crater.
"As I entered Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut, memories flooded back.
"Firstly, I noticed the familiar aroma of Sunlight soap.
"I sat in the doorway as had done many times, gazing at the Adelie penguin rookery, hearing Adelie penguins calling, taking in the glorious vista of McMurdo Sound and receiving the occasional whiff of guano.
"Entering the little green refuge hut where I slept many times was an emotional moment especially when I saw my inscription above the door, dated 1977-2003.
"After dinner, we landed at Cape Evans.
"Scott left from here for the [South] Pole in November 1911.
"I have many memories from much time spent here and I was delighted to see work done by the Antarctic Heritage Trust since my last visit here in 2004.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would return here and once again visit this shrine which is perhaps the greatest historic site from the celebrated heroic-age of exploration.
"I said 'Good evening' to a 2-year-old Weddell seal loafing in the snow, then visited Lizzie Meek and her staff at the Trust's complex of polar tents and huts including a special artefact conservation laboratory."
Dr Harrowfield's reports and photographs from the vessel will be subject to prevailing weather reports and are presented thanks to the assistance of Heritage Expeditions and the crew of the Spirit of Enderby. Visit their website: www.heritage-expeditions.com for details of upcoming voyages.