Has there ever been something that has always held your curiosity, but you never thought you would be able to experience? For me this was something that always captivated me every time I would fly out of Christchurch.
From the moment I set eyes on this majestic aircraft in 2011, I have always wondered what it would be like to be inside one. Today I finally got to step onto the C17 Globemaster and it did not disappoint! More importantly, I boarded this beast to fly to ANTARCTICA!
In the late 19th century only the most driven, brave and brash explorers ventured this far south into a world of the unknown. In 1898 Carsten Borchgrevink, the leader of the British Antarctic Expedition set the sails during the ‘heroic era’ of Antarctic exploration, and built what remains as the only example left of humans’ first dwelling on a continent, at Cape Adare.
I am travelling with the amazing people from the Antarctic Heritage Trust, a charitable organisation that has conserved the original huts of this era – including the huts of Scott, Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary and the thousands of items left behind. We will be working to conserve these historic buildings and artefacts to protect them for generations to come. Through these programmes the Antarctic Heritage Trust hopes to inspire the next generation with the spirit of exploration so they continue to discover the world around them.
It has been a fickle start to the summer this year with the weather playing tricks as usual. I was welcomed by Antarctica with a three-day delay as the weather had turned the week before. I am writing this as we are flying over the Pacific. It is a balmy -31oC with wind chill and I can’t wipe the smile from my face.
Before we can venture out of the base we must do a crash course on how to set up a tent in Antarctica. It sounds like this is shaping up to be a pretty good summer, camping by the beach, a bit of hard work, and great people…what more could I want?!
Stay tuned to find out how camping on the ice went, and whether jandals made the cut!
Written by Chris Ansin, Antarctic Heritage Trust and Sir Peter Blake Trust Antarctic Youth Ambassador