While copying over my archives from everywhere, Raewyn Whyte, who is helping me with the copying and cleanup, carried over all the posts from my 2006-07 summer trip to Antarctica. You can find them here:
The original site doesn’t exist anymore so we had to fish them out of the good ole Wayback Machine.
It was an amazing journey to Antarctica. I have some definite highlights and lowlights. Lows included the death of one of our crew on the first day at the base due to very unfortunate circumstances. That was unbelievably horrible. Also, I think I felt quite compromised being in Antarctica in the first place. I almost didn’t go but didn’t want to let down the buddies I had made a commitment to.
I felt uncomfortable because the science bases on Antarctica are strategic placements… waiting, waiting, until the pressure gets too much and the moratorium on extractive industries comes off… I can’t speak for the entire continent but my direct experience was that there was very little real science going on, and a lot of resources were being spent in the name of science while maintaining strategic positions for bases.
The highs were that it was an amazing experience and I felt privileged to be there. I met great people, had good times, even beat the chopper captain in the New Year’s darts finals! We did some amazing stuff too. Building antenna, setting up a radio station and a very low-fi radio talkback system, among other things.
But mostly it was the really unbelievable beauty of the place.
Our mission was to start the build of an autonomous mobile base for art-science collaborations. We did the first phase, others came later. I don’t know if it was ever completed, I lost track of it.
Anyway.. .it was a great experience. I visited the SA Agulhas (the icebreaker we travelled down in) a few years ago at the Capetown wharf. Beautiful boat.