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Expedition Blog

2041 was founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.

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Looking Forward

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Departing from Antarctica often leaves people feeling a blend of sadness and awe. After experiencing such a raw environment, it can be a hard prospect to adjust back to our ‘real’ lives and responsibilities. Eventually as time passes, and our focus shifts elsewhere, those intense feelings subside, and it can be easy to forget why we ventured South. Raising the funds, traveling half way around the world, and braving the Drake Passage…only to find oneself immersed in a strange and exotic land. If you didn’t know why you journeyed south whilst you were there, you most certainly do by the time you leave. Quite simply, it is unlike any other place on Earth, a pristine frontier still bound by nature whims, a place where few have had the fortune to pass through.

Within “The Leadership On The Edge Program” we have aligned people from different industries and backgrounds to work towards a more sustainable, clean energy future. Lets use this shared passion, and the experience of Antarctica, to become ambassadors for change and progression. We visited the Antarctic for a reason, let’s act upon it.

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Northern Shift

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Standing on the stern of the Endeavor, we watch the familiar horizon of white and blue fade into a thick moody night. We venture back into open oceans with tired eyes, but with eager intent for what lies ahead.

A looming forecast in The Drake passage spreads some concern amongst the group. We enjoy a vibrant evening of conversation as the boat starts to rock and we brace for the unruliness of the Southern seas. Our Ukrainian captain directs the ship into the pacific to avoid an early winter storm which was developing on the Atlantic side of the passage. Unsecured equipment soon found unexpected flying lessons. Seasickness flattens some of our team. Shifting between oceans whilst enjoying time on deck. Watching the seas birds gliding inches above white capped waves.

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Last Day of the Season

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Familiar faces, etched with fatigue and awe, scampered to the upper deck to savor the moment as the first rays of the day drained effortlessly into the surrounding peaks. Being thousands of miles away from home, it has been a true inspiration to learn the backstory of why and how people found themselves on this expedition. In an effort to help elevate each other’s projects and visions, gathering content for sponsors and projects has been a big component of this trip. Alongside our Huffington Post crew, the 2041 media team has been conducting interviews with Robert, Barney and the rest of the participants throughout the past week. We are all excited to see where this content will lead, and how it will support the projects, stories, and insights captured.  

During the first landing of the day, we were dropped off at a pebbled shoreline dotted with wildlife. Our seasoned guides navigated us through a thick penguin colony,  and encouraged us all to venture high up on a ridge line which summit had gripping panoramas of the surrounding landscapes. The Ocean Endeavor shrunk smaller and smaller in the distance as we made our way up the ridge, each step revealing a different perspective of grandeur around us. With elevation on our side, the scale of Antarctica took on a different paradigm, we were apart of the rock and ice. On top it, rather then looking upon it. Scanning the overlook with a pair binoculars revealed an insights into the thriving synergy all around- fierce Leopard Seal’s thrashing about penguins, carving glaciers, and zodiacs like small ants floating on a mirror surface. The stillness of this landing allowed many of us to feel the true essence of this mighty place, nothing but passing footsteps or penguin calls interrupting the pristine backdrop. 

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Mikkelsen Bay and the Lemaire Channel

The past two days have been a whirl wind of experience and motion for the IAE team. Each person has gained a unique perspective into the beauty, history, and rawness of Antarctica. 

A few shared moments that have left there impression-

Floating next to a couple of snoring humpback whales, meters away with the engine turned off- nothing but sea ice chattering breaking the pristine silence.

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Exploring Brown Bluff

We are all truly humbled by the sheer, untouched beauty of Antarctica as the IAE 2017 team continues further along the Peninsula. Today we visited the famous Browns Bluff, where we marveled at the painted rock towering high above us. Our team traveled by Zodiac, small inflatable vessels, through an incredible cove filled with ice monoliths each as different as the participants on our team.

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Venturing Deeper into the Antarctic Peninsula

Blog contributed by: Alex Bogdan, originally published on southbysouthpole.com

I woke up early, hopeful to catch the sunrise and first sightings of an iceberg. There was a thick cloud covering and no signs of the sun, nor signs of land. I took a walk around the ship and up to the bridge where the captain and crew navigate the vessel. I stood at the bridge for an hour. From here, we could see Humpback whales, penguins, and seals leaping across the water, along with several species of birds. I’ve been surrounded by people who are truly passionate about wildlife. They can name the specific species of most animals from 200 yards away, just by seeing a quick glimpse. It’s impressive, and I’m surprised by how envious I’ve become of their knowledge, especially of birds. Normally, I tend to dislike birds, and slightly fear them. I blame Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

After much anticipation, and more than an hour of watching the horizon, we finally caught our first visual of the South Shetland Islands, merely shadows on the cloud covered horizon. This was an exhilarating moment. The crew told us it would be another hour until we were sailing through the islands, so we left our post to meet up with the 2041 group for an International Women’s Day photo. I thought about the strong women in my life, my mom especially, and the intelligent, powerful women I’m lucky to work with at SAP, so I’d like to say happy belated Women’s Day to you all. 

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South Bound & Down

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This morning, the team set their eyes on the raw landscape of the far north peninsular. A land that has never seen war, that is near untouched by modern development, and where wildlife still roam free from the fear of man. 

A melting pot of backstories, and expectations soon fade into perspective under the sheer scale and pristine detail of Antarctica. Exploring fur seal coated shorelines and standing side-by-side with yakking colonies of penguins, has left many of the participants with a sheer “words will not do justice” mindset.

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Embarkation & the Drake Passage

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The Expedition kicked off with a flurry of action with the team departing South to the bottom of Patagonia, Ushuaia. Once the Beagle Channel was in sight, people's tiredness was soon replaced with sheer excitement.  Converging cultures, expertise's, & ambitions meld together with the hope to find new horizons and ideas off the map. Together, with common cause and active solutions we will return home with a fresh perspective on how to strengthen our stories and visions looking into the future. 

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Awaiting the IAE 2017 Expedition Team

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Arriving to a big, bustling city such as Buenos Aires after an international flight can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. With the loud city noises, densely packed streets, and humidity of the summer, it caught us all by surprise...

Buenos Aires, the "Paris of Latin America" is a densely packed place broken up by gorgeous green parks & old growth Gum trees. After settling in, the 2041 team has been enjoying the atmosphere and eateries in between diligently preparing for the arrival of the IAE 2017 participants. 

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