Thursday, 9 December 2010

Day 1, 9 December: Invercargill and Port of Bluff, NZ


I'm sure everyone had similar feelings. We were setting out on a 25-day voyage to cross some of the roughest seas on the planet and to follow the brave handful of explorers who set out in flimsy craft one hundred years ago to explore the mysterious East Antarctica.

Made famous by Sir Douglas Mawson in his work, 'Land of the Blizzard' the Terre Adelie coast of George V Land, which includes Commonwealth Bay and Cape Denison, is one of the windiest places on Earth. Mawson's hut, unfortunately located at this spot, is our destination.

With photographer and colleague, Ewen Bell, we sip final frapp├ęs at the world's southernmost Starbucks in Invercargill (46:25 degrees) before boarding 'Spirit of Enderby' in the nearby port of Bluff. At 4.30pm, accompanied by a small flight of petrels and shearwaters, we head south and our odyssey is begun. Tomorrow we pass the Snare Islands, home to more seabirds than the entire British Isles (or so I'm informed)