February 19, 2013

Penguins!

  64 degrees South – Cueverville Island. This morning we will visit the Penguin colony of Cuerverville Island (as nothing in Antarctica possesses a ‘native’ name everything tended to get named after obscure steamship captains or rich expedition sponsors). This […]
February 18, 2013

In search of the red otter

Today will be a better day. Yesterday we left Punta Arenas early to make our good weather window.  Two hours later we arrive at Frei Airbase, run by the Chilean military.  It looks like we have landed on the surface […]
February 18, 2013

The big spit

Sunday – South Shetland Islands Swell: 3 metres Today I am mostly throwing up
February 17, 2013

Packed like Kate Moss

This morning I take a trip to the Punta Arenas cemetery to witness the Chilean way of death in all of its splendour.  Mausoleums of the size of provincial town halls are arranged along pine avenues, monuments to several generations […]
February 16, 2013

All points North

Today Punta Arenas is my oyster. Capital of the Magallanes region of Chile it sits on the Magellan Straits, a natural fracture dividing the South American mainland from Tierra del Fuego which provides a rather useful shortcut avoiding Cape Horn.  […]
February 15, 2013

A trip takes us

  A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck
February 15, 2013

Meteor strike in central Russia

  A meteor strike in Russia has injured over 950 people – reports say the meteor broke up unexpectedly before impact. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21468116
February 14, 2013

Chilean surprise

Twenty seven hours of travelling later and I am approximately two thirds of the way to my destination having arrived in Santiago – much as I’d like to provide a stunningly informative viewpoint on the Chilean capital my experience so […]
February 13, 2013

Completely bonkers (but in a good way)

I am ridiculously excited to learn that I will be in Antarctica at the same time as Sir Ranulph Fiennes as he sets out to attempt the first trans-Antarctic crossing in winter where he will endure a permanent state of […]
February 11, 2013

OMG, they killed Kenny!

In 1914, on the eve of the first world war, the great adventurer, leader and Irishman, Sir Ernest Shackleton left England to undertake the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition.  It was an adventure that nearly ended in disaster when his ship, the […]
April 3, 2011

The perils of Winchmore Hill

A week on and I am still being struck by the ironies – the worst toilet on a 5,500 mile journey was in the arrivals hall at Heathrow; I have consumed strange and exotic foods without incident but somehow manage […]
March 28, 2011

Back in the bubble

The vastness of Beijing airport makes Heathrow Terminal 5 look like a provincial bus station.  Inside I watch the check-in crew line up for their formal morning briefing, standing to attention and holding their schedules in front of them while […]