Antarctic Day 4: Late Breaking News – Killer Whales

Tonight I gave the first part of my two-gig presentation. After all, that is why I am here. I was just showing the Part 4 of my Atlantic video, the triumphant arrival in Antigua, when a member of the professional staff came over and whispered in my ear, “There are killer whales outside. We might have to leave the Q&A till another time”. I spent … Continued

Antarctica Day 4: Mine’s A Large G&T, Lots Of Ice

63 31.09 degrees South, 58 52.65 degrees West Sunrise 0416, Sunset 2145 This morning I woke to the sight of icebergs outside my cabin window. We were entering the Weddell Sea, and seeing for the first time the great white continent of Antarctica. The quote on our day’s itinerary was apposite – Frank Worsley, captain of the Endurance, describing icebergs: “Swans of weird shape pecked at … Continued

Antarctica Day 3: Penguins Ahoy!

Who knows why we find penguins so endearing? Maybe it’s because they walk upright like we do. Or because their waddling walk is so klutzishly cute. Or because their faces seem so expressive. But whatever the reason, they are adorable, and I duly spent much of our first afternoon ashore laughing at their penguinny antics. The penguins here have no fear of these strange, red-clad … Continued

Antarctica Day 2: The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a scary reputation, and that’s not surprising (glad it wasn’t like this!). It’s the narrowest point between Antarctica and any other landmass, so all the formidable force of the Southern Ocean gets squished into a narrow passage between two continents. In fact, according to our lecture on plate tectonics today, it was only relatively recently (in geological terms) that South America … Continued

Antarctica Day 1: Global Luminary in Residence

Last year’s TED Mission Blue conference in the Galapagos Islands took place on board the National Geographic Endeavor, in association with Lindblad Expeditions. After the conference I wrote to Sven Lindblad, suggesting they might want an ocean rower to come and speak on some forthcoming trip. He wrote back saying “How about Antarctica?” Jackpot! So here I am, now on board the National Geographic Explorer, … Continued