“The boaty parts”

Posted: April 12, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, Logistics, The Journey
Tags: , , , , ,

Andrew Dare on the high seas...
Photography (C) Andrew Dare

Andrew Dare's yacht resting at the Antarctic
(Photography (C) Andrew Dare)

A couple of months or so ago, we received an email from a chap who wanted to talk about the helping us with the “boaty parts” of the journey. And there will be plenty of these parts for us to navigate on the journey, that’s for sure – coming back down to Northern Europe from the North Pole; getting to the Antarctic continent is quite a journey… and the relatively short journey between Indonesia and Australia is actually quite difficult; from what I have seen in research to date is that it is quite hard to find a boat to take you, and people trying this can wait for months.

So we were quite lucky when Andrew Dare (or “The Wandering Bear”) introduced himself to us. He is a yacht skipper who has been sailing for 22 years and over 150,000 nautical miles, including a number of journeys to the Antarctica. He is also a great photographer with excellent albums of his journeys. With his amazing experiences, it was great to be able to speak with him the other day.

We spoke with him about the journey and the general plans and how ideally we would love to sail in to the Antarctic, though the point we would like to arrive at the continent (McMurdo) is frozen up for much of the year – at other times, as Andy said, it would be wise to follow an ice-breaking ship. If we did this, however, we would arrive too late in the year to be able to traverse the continent before winter closes in and would need to settle down for the winter in McMurdo to await the next season… adding further time to the whole project. A possibility…? Maybe. An exciting thought really, though would have to be discussed with the team. All the old explorers before air travel grew would have had to hunker down for the winter…

Other options would be sailing to Antarctica directly south of Africa… The ice here doesn’t remain so long because of the wind blowing it through the channel between the two continents. A longer journey, though also a possibility that can be examined (permits as well would have to be looked into – it won’t be quite as simple as saying… oh look, here’s a nice place, let’s build a hut here…). Or the worst alternative which we may eventually have to face: flying. Definitely something we really want to avoid, and for me personally, I would prefer to spend a few months shacked up in an ice hut for the winter than doing this… But again, we shall have to see exactly.

Our conversation went on for a good couple of hours or so and was very productive. Plenty more information regarding both the Poles and the possibility of working with each other in getting to them, so we will be keeping in touch over the next few months to discuss in further details about everything.

Andy in cold waters...
(Photography (C) Andrew Dare)

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