Category Archives: Expeditions

PolarView Sea Ice Concentration, 20-27 August 2013

The sea ice is critical to the success of our expedition – too little and we will be unable to cross from the Peninsula to Snow Hill and the other islands safely; too much and we won’t be able to approach the Peninsula at all in the Golden Fleece.  We’re all watching the radar charts like owls on a caffeine high.  The historical average peak ice concentration occurs in mid- to late September, and then rapidly decreases into October, but year-on-year variation is dramatic and conditions early in the season are not much good for predicting the outcome.  Some time in September we will begin to get access to the high-resolution satellite photographs of the region, which give much more detailed information, but it is a stressful time.  Three years of planning hanging in the balance…

I’ll post the images here when they are available.  The last week has shown some promising decreases in the concentration, but a cold spell can reverse the trend in less than a day.  We can expect to see the ice thicken, but hope to see a little less to the west to make us all breathe easier.










Source:  PolarView/Universitat Bremen,

Blast from the past


I stumbled across this article online to day, which I didn’t know was available other than in the print version of Junior Doctor magazine years ago.  It’s a nice vignette for people thinking about working as a polar expedition doctor.  Brings back warm memories of SANAE IV, and heightens the longing to get back down south.  One month to go before we depart for the Snow Hill Island Expedition

Have a look at the article on here:  Extreme Medicine – The Antarctic Doctor

Snow Hill Island Expedition page up and running

Yip, it’s here on for you to peruse at your leisure.  Check back from time to time, as we plan to keep it updated.  You can also follow on Facebook at – “Like” the page to get news when it is posted.  To be sure you don’t miss out, why not subscribe to this blog by filling in your email address?

Follow the link above or click here to see the official expedition home page.

Emperor Penguins at Snow Hill Island.  (Photo: Ted Cheeseman/Cheeseman Ecology Safaris)
Emperor Penguins at Snow Hill Island. (Photo: Ted Cheeseman/Cheeseman Ecology Safaris)

A Dinghy for the Drake

Lots of interest brewing about our October expedition, with most people not quite getting the idea 😉  To dispel  some of the confusion…

  • Yes, it’s a private, self-funded expedition whose primary goal is that we have a holiday…doing some research along the way.  Isn’t that how everybody relaxes?
  • Yes, we really are going to be as close to carbon-neutral as you can get for flying half way around the world – we are pulling sleds with wind and man-power (and woman power).
  • Yes, we will be camping.  Refer to my comments about how everyone relaxes.
  • No, we are not going on a cruise ship – we are using the wind and taking a yacht down to the ice.

For your interest and edification, here is some info about the Golden Fleece, the yacht we will be using.

Golden Fleece at South Georgia. Photo by Ryan Holiday,