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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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IAE 80 South Photo Summary #1

After a very successful expedition to Union Glacier, Rob & the team are 100% confident that the technology is ready for the South Pole Energy Challenge later this year. Here's some photos from the trip from expedition photographer, Carolina Sandretto. Gearing up for IAE 2017 just right around the corner! Keep Posted.

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IAE 80 South Pole Energy Test Expedition Summary

The team arrived safely back to Patagonia after a successful expedition to Union Glacier. Listn below as Ciara gives us an expedition summary of the IAE 80 South Pole Energy Test Expedition.

"We are now pulling together all the data and reviewing the results which are looking very positive. So positive that Rob Swan said to us that he's 100% confident that the technology will be ready for his 600 miles South Pole Expedition in November of 2017."

Photo by Barney Swan from Antarctica - "Digesting the past 8 days and all of the ideas, landscapes, and inspiration shared between the team. Standing beneath this 300ft ice wave was a serious perspective check."

Hear the IAE 80 Expedition Summary from Ciara below.

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The IAE 80 Team

Learn more about the amazing group of people that make up the 14 member IAE 80° South Team.

 

Robert Swan - “30 years ago when we made ‘In the Footsteps of Scott’ there were more people who had stood on the Moon than walked to the Poles. Times have changed now. People are going to the Poles on cars, bikes and what not. Though there still are some serious expeditions going on. The real adventure today is to survive on Earth. The IAE80 and the SPEC will inspire and give people an opportunity to explore, work with and improve upon renewable energy. It will be a new era of exploration

A billion people making small little changes can make a big difference. This is why we are launching the CLIMATE FORCE Movement. Climate is a very forceful element that can take us down if not respected. CLIMATE FORCE is an umbrella that will bring people together and present an opportunity to join something meaningful.

The IAE 80 Test expedition is a huge step to making our expedition to the South Pole in November 2017 the first expedition to the South Pole, surviving only on renewable energy.”

  

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-15-di-18.jpgAmeera Mohamed Al Marzoqi, 24, is presently studying IT Security at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Her dream to visit the Poles and a chance newspaper article led her to become a part of the IAE 2015- a remarkable experience that opened up her mind to many possiblities. With her love for the outdoors and the environment she is inspiring the youth back home to be more sustainable and protect the Earth.

One of the first Arabs to go to the heart of the White Continent, she will be a part of the Expo 2020 Dubai to engage with a global audience, sharing her experiences in solar technology and sustainable development. Her new house back home will be powered by solar energy.

The expedition to the Union Glacier will also be a time for reflection – to learn more about the self and also learn more about her country. An eternal optimist and a learner, she hopes to set up the first E-Base in UAE. 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-14-di-18.jpgSaeed Mohamed Al Nuaimi, 23, Abu Dhabi, UAE, is an Electrical Engineer with Adnoc, Gasco. He has previously worked on sun tracking solar panels as a part of senior project in College. Also witness to the flights of Solar Impulse that went round the world from Abu Dhabi, Saeed is excited about his first visit to Antarctica. He wants to learn and understand about renewable energy technology that will be tested as part of the expedition. With ample sunlight he sees great potential for the UAE and has been learning more about renewable energy initiatives in cities like Dubai and Masdar. He will be part of the future project in Gasco to light up the field using solar energy.

Saeed hopes to inspire the youth back home to encourage sustainable and environment friendly habits. One of the first Arabs going to the Union Glacier, he will be a part of Expo 2020 Dubai to share his experiences from Antarctica.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-6-di-18.jpgCharulata Somal, 28, New Delhi, India, is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of the Government of India, presently working as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zilla Panchayat of Kodagu District, Karnataka - rendering her services in the rural development sector implementing central , state and district sector schemes, including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Programme, Swachch Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, National Rural Livelihood Mission among others. Besides, she is also working on the environment and tribal education challenges in Kodagu.

Having recently completed a basic mountaineering course in the Himalayas, Charulata is an also an avid trekker and wildlife enthusiast.

Previously a member of IAE 2016, what she fondly called the Ark of Noah, Charulata is a part of IAE 80 South to represent the best efforts of the Government and non-government sector in the field of environment and sustainability, including the works of the ministries of New and Renewable Energy; Coal; Environment, Forests and Climate Change; the International Solar Alliance; Swachch Bharat Mission; Indian Institute of Science, E-Base Kodagu and SAI Sanctuary, Kodagu.

“My three favourite words are: Become Your Dream” – Charulata Somal

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-4-di-18.jpgBarney Swan, 22, Far North Australia, was born in the United Kingdom, raised in the tropical Far North Australia, and now lives and works in California. With degrees in Business and Multimedia, Barney co-directs 2041’s expeditions and ventures. Over the last 5 years, he has applied and trained skills in alpine mountaineering, risk management, technical sailing, and team coordination.

Barney will walk with his father, Robert Swan, to the South Pole starting November 2017, as part of the South Pole Energy Challenge - a journey of over 600 nautical miles in extreme weather conditions. Creator of the ClimateForce Movement, he hopes to build on the legacy of his father and inspire the younger generation to take action and follow sustainable lifestyles and practices.

IAE80 and SPEC will be a platform for Barney to engage and work with partners and sponsors, empower and inspire audiences with actionable solutions and dialogues on sustainable development. He is determined to have solutions that are not only relevant- but exciting, attractive and profitable.

“Dad and I will be working side by side, generation by generation to help find actionable solutions to the challenges our times are facing” – Barney Swan 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-18-di-18.jpgPeter Tonkes, 44, Daintree- Cape Kimberly, Far North Queensland, an inquisitive, adventurous and footloose Civil Engineer, he has travelled to the most isolated and fantastic places on work, being inspired by landscapes and people alike.

With his philosophy of environment friendly practices and sustainable living, back home, Peter stays off grid, generating his own clean solar energy on his self sufficient, minimal waste farm, with a small hydro plant in the making.

With a fascination and desire to get to Antarctica, Peter is looking to develop practical and robust solutions and building inter-connectedness between the various technologies that will be tested at Union Glacier.

“As an Engineer concerned about what we are doing to this planet I was ecstatic to be invited to IAE 80 South. The opportunity to contribute to the emerging technologies of alternative energy proposed for the SPEC trip is too important to overlook. Having worked in many developing countries, I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by everyday people and the effect innovative energy solutions can have on daily life and the environment to reduce our carbon footprint.” – Peter Tonkes

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-11-di-18.jpgCiara Doyle, 39, Irish, Newport, Wales, UK – Ciara is a mechanical and electrical engineer with Siemens. ‘The chance to win a trip of a lifetime’ email from the CEO of Calon Energy, owner of the power station she works at, was the tipping point of her involvement with IAE 2016 and 2041. Taking a page out of Robert Swan’s book, Ciara sustained the inspiration by being a member of the Global Himalayan Expedition, Ladakh, India, lighting up a village with solar energy in June 2016.

With a passion for clean and green energy, Ciara represents both Siemens and Calon Energy, bringing a wind turbine from local sustainable energy company, Leading Edge Power, for testing and charging batteries at the camp in Union Glacier. She hopes this expedition will inspire and encourage young people, especially women, into engineering, besides galvanise the team at work to embed sustainable practices in plant performance and resource usage at the workplace.

After IAE 80 Ciara wants to engage in greater ingenuity, interaction and cross functional collaboration at work across levels. She has also tied up with local groups such as Soroptomist and is a STEM Ambassador.

“I am passionate about working in the Energy Industry. I have signed up to IAE80 South as I believe it showcases the message of sustainability, ingenuity, leadership, partnership and collaboration between individuals and corporations to find solutions to seemingly impossible challenges that will shape the future of this industry.” – Ciara Doyle

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Carolina-2.jpgCarolina Sandretto, 35, New York City, Photographer, an Italian who loves to travel, having lived in Switzerland, Egypt and France; passionate about social issues, she fell in love with Antarctica on her first visit. Her first meeting with Robert and his inspirational TED Talk saw her board the Ocean Endeavour as part of IAE 2016. Previously pursuing photography as an interest, doing fundraisers for not for profits, Carolina decided to follow her passion and become a full time photographer. She will soon be releasing two photo books on Cuba.

Carolina is the official photographer in IAE80. This is not the end of her affair with the Antarctic. After IAE80 she will return next year for more photography to the Western Peninsula, with a travel to the Arctic before that. She hopes to spend more time down south, hereafter, pursuing her profession and interests.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-9-di-18.jpgWendy Gediman, Primary Teacher, runs The Wildlife- Roots and Shoots Club at School, from Los Angeles, living in England- Part of IAE 2008 and 2013, an educator, conservationist, wildlife enthusiast, bookaholic, change leader and blogger, Wendy has learnt about Antarctica from the pioneering generation. She inspires her children to become change makers, incorporating Antarctic stories in the study of history, science and literature. As an educator, she reaches out to schools on her travels abroad to Africa, America and other places.

Wendy has worked with Dr Jane Goodall and attended leadership seminars focusing on the environment, wildlife and humans, besides being involved with Design for Change, Earth Hour- Earth Day, local wildlife organizations among others. She is carrying flags made by children in school and from Peru.

“I am excited about venturing into the interior of Antarctica, and being part of Rob’s team testing equipment and technology for the South Pole Energy Challenge. I also plan on sharing the trip on my website, running a blog, and reaching out to children worldwide. The incredible people in the 2041 family always inspire me, and there is no better way to learn about our world than in exploring the last natural habitat on earth, and working to protect it!” – Wendy Gediman

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_vivek.jpgVivek Mahesh Makhija, 38, Shell, Amsterdam, with the philosophy of Help a Person a Day, Vivek considers himself to be a lucky person, having gotten a good education back home in India. He presently handles the Clean Energy Business for Shell, having previously worked with Cadbury and the Boston Consulting Group. He is working towards the concept of being energized by energy transition- believing in the concept of fair, equitable, accessible and affordable energy for all.

With an MBA from London Business School, Vivek is a loving husband and a doting father, he is excited about his first travel to Antarctica, and equally apprehensive about the cold. He will soon tick all 7 continents off his travel list - testing for biofuel at the Union Glacier, which is touted to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon.

“I am passionate about and in the space of Clean Energy for good now” – Vivek Makhija

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-13-di-18.jpgKeith Sauls, CFA, 49, Charleston, USA, a philanthropist, investor, educator and adventure sport racer, Keith is the managing partner at Exeter Venture Group and Apple Gold Partners, he is committed to channeling investments in the Environment Sustainability and Governance (ESG) sector- a field he wants to focus on for the next 25 years. His ideas hold appeal across 3 generations up to the millennials. Keith’s first visit to Antarctica was in March 2016.

Inspired by his 19 year old environmentally conscious son, Keith has been a part of multiple Young Life Africa Expeditions to Mt Kilimanjaro, witnessing the changes and glacial melt on the mountain. With a love for gadgets he will focus on his role as an organizer and leader, familiarizing himself with the gear for polar exploration in preparation for his walk to the South Pole – The Last Degree as a part of SPEC – next year.

Back home, when not running on the beach pulling heavy sleds preparing for the last mile, Keith wants to engage more families to direct their investments to the field of ESG.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_8995.JPGMark Leisher, 52, Washington DC, Filmmaker- The reticent and shy film maker talks best through his lens. A father to his 21 year old daughter and passionate about his craft, Mark wants to leave a legacy and promote visual story telling about environmental issues. Working hard behind the camera he wants to focus on solution oriented films rather than the gloom and doom variety.

Mark has 15 years of video and film production experience including numerous credits in network commercials, feature films, music productions, reality TV programming, and corporate videos for Fortune 500 companies. Mark has freelanced with all the major networks both as an independent cinematographer and as a producer for television series and documentary films. A pioneer in HDTV, starting back in 2003, he has helped evolve key solutions and strategies to aid his clients in communicating their message through the ever-evolving worlds of electronic media.

Skilled in mountaineering, rapelling, kayaking, mountain & road biking, snowmobiling, snowboarding and skiing, Mark has an organic vineyard in Colorado – a safe haven to get away from the maddening city life and has plans to harness more renewable energy on the farm.

His new company Media 4 Green focuses on stories of social growth. In IAE80 he will be starting from where he left in IAE2016, documenting stories in Antarctica. He will also be testing for new film and camera equipment.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_edward-balaban_20161212-085426_1.jpgEdward Balaban, 42, NASA Ames Research Centre, Moffett Field, CA - A trained pilot, Edward is a man of few words with a wicked sense of humour. His love for the outdoors led him to explore a variety of landscapes – mountains and deserts alike.

When not at play, Edward is a scientist at NASA working on robotics and artificial intelligence. He has worked in the Arctic previously, at Devon Island, on the development and testing of an autonomous subterranean planetary drill. His interest in renewable energy, sustainable solutions, and developing new opportunities for testing of NASA technologies in environments relevant to space exploration led him to participate in IAE 2016, successfully testing experimental solar panels and a passive water recycling system in a harsh conditions.

Describing his return to Antarctica as a serendipitous opportunity, Edward will be testing NASA technology, during IAE80, which would in the future make it easier to explore other worlds and also contribute to having a better life on this planet. He hopes to formalize and strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship between NASA and 2041.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Portraitsandgroup-12-di-18.jpgDeclan Flanagan, 42, CEO, Lincoln Clean Energy (Wind and Solar Power), Chicago: a committed family man, Declan has grown up being fascinated by Tom Crean, a member of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition. Life has come full circle 10 years after first dreaming of going to Antarctica, when in Ushuaia. Having worked in the business of clean energy, Robert Swan´s mission resonated strongly with him. He will rekindle his activist roots from the time he was in school in the 1990s in an attempt to reconcile it with the commercial world.

A product of Kellogg’s Business School, Declan is an execution focused pragmatist, who takes calculated risks. With mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation, as preparation for the expedition, he researched the safety records of the Ilyushin among other things.

He was a participant in the Gross National Happiness Conference in Bhutan in 2015. A traveler who is equally at ease in cities and desolate places, Declan does a lot of cycling and Pilates.

“The economics is favourable towards the renewable energy business” – Declan Flanagan

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NASA describes Testing & Data Collection Results

Listen to Edward, our representative rom NASA gives us an update of his experience on Day 7 of the IAE 80 South Expedition.

"Both the tests and the data collection have so far exceeded our expectation, so we hope to build on this success going forward." Listen to more below.

Describing his return to Antarctica as a serendipitous opportunity, Edward will be testing NASA technology, during IAE80, which would in the future make it easier to explore other worlds and also contribute to having a better life on this planet.

 

Listen to Edward on Day 7

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Testing Shell Biofuels at Union Glacier

Vivek, our representative from Shell testing biofuels at Union Glacier, describes cooking his "Southern Most Curry" and his experience in Antarctica so far on Day 5.

The biofuel that Vivek is testing in Antarctica is touted to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon.

“I am passionate about and in the space of Clean Energy for good now” – Vivek Makhija

 

Listen to Vivek's update on Day 5

 

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The IAE 80 Team Shares their Experience

Listen below as we hear from two members of the IAE 80 team, Charulata Somal & Wendy Gediman on Day 4 of the expedition in the Antarctic Wilderness. 

The team skied 8km with their camping gear, away from Union Glacier, to camp under the stars and continue testing the renewable energy technology. 

We encourage you to share the messages so we can spread the news, please use #ClimateForce for any content related to the project.

Wendy Gediman on Day 4 

Charulata Somal on Day 4

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Word from our Chief Engineer - Peter Tonkes

Peter Tonkes, the teams Chief Engineer gives a few words from the teams sustainibility camp on Day 3 of the expedition. Listen in below or hear all of the audio updates in one place at our soundcloud page.

"A message of a sustainble future using a blend of energy sources has been welcomed by the various expeditions passing through as we describe our work to them." - Peter

We encourage you to share the messages so we can spread the news, please use #ClimateForce for any content related to the project.

 

 

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Day Two at Union Glacier

IAE 80 Expedition Update on day two from the Climate Force team who are currently camped at Union Glacier, Antarctica.

Listen in as Barney tells us how the testing of the clean, renewable technology is going so far as well as whats in store for the next few days of the expedition.

We encourage you to share the messages so we can spread the news, please use #ClimateForce for any content related to the project.

Listen to Barney's message on day two of the expedition. Watch the video here. Or listen below.

 

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Arriving to Union Glacier at 80° South

The IAE 80 team has arrived safely at Union Glacier at 80° South in Antarctica. Listen to Robs phone update about the current conditions and the flight across to the last great wilderness, Antarctica. This week the team will be working very hard testing all of the renewable technology in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. 

We encourage you to share the messages so we can spread the news, please use #ClimateForce for any content related to the project.

 

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Departing Punta Arenas

This is the final update from Rob & the rest of the IAE 80 South team before they drop off the map.

Keep posted via our Facebook and here on our expedition blog. Communications from the Antarctic are limited to voice and perhaps some still photos. Keep posted here & our website for updates from the last great wilderness, Antarctica. Forwards as Ever. #climateforce

Listen below to Rob's phone message from Punta Arenas, Chile. Watch the video here.

 

 

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IAE 80° South Intro & Arrival to Punta Arenas

On November 15th 2017 Robert and Barney Swan will undertake a 600 mile walk to the South Pole ONLY surviving on renewable energy, this has never been attempted. The expedition is called the ‘South Pole Energy Challenge’- its purpose is to inspire people to change their energy consumption to being more renewable. To test this renewable energy the IAE 80 South team have gathered at the bottom of Patagonia, Punta Arenas, Chile. 

On Dec 4th, we head to Union Glacier Base Camp  600 miles from the South Pole. We are returning on December 12th. The purpose of IAE 80 is to test these renewable energies in the harsh conditions of mainland Antarctic. 

Our 14 person team have all arrived safe in Chile, check back for their full bios:

  •  Keith Sauls-                                    USA. Renewable Energy Finance 
  •  Ameera Al Haranki-                         UAE. Expo 2020 Youth
  •  Mark Leisher-                                 USA. Videographer
  •  Peter Tonkes-                                  Australian. Technical Coordinator
  •  Ciara Doyle-                                   Ireland/UK. Siemens Power Generation Services
  •  Declan Flanagan-                            Ireland. Lincoln Clean Energy
  •  Vivek Makhja-                                UK/India. Shell Biofuels 
  •  Saeed Alnuamin-                           UAE.  Expo 2020 Youth
  •  Charulata Somal-                           India. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer
  •  Carolina Sandretto-                         Italy. Photographer 
  •  Wendy Gediman-                           USA/UK. Middle School Teacher 
  •  Edward Balaban-                             USA/Russia. NASA Scientist 
  •  Robert Swan-                                  UK. Expedition Leader 
  •  Barney Swan-                                   Australian/ UK. Logistics and Media

 

The technology which will be tested includes-

  1. Ice melting System from NASA which is Solar Direct to the Ice melting Chamber.
  2. Cutting Edge Solar Thermal Ice melter from Zero Mass Water.
  3. Wind Generator System supported by Siemens, Calon Energy & Leading Edge Power. 
  4. Ice Melting System from ABC Power.
  5. Batteries and Solar Panels from Goal Zero.
  6. Specialized Biofuels from Shell 

 

We are going to be dropping off the map on the 4th of December. Communications from the Antarctic are limited to voice and perhaps some still photos. 

Part of our test expedition is to see how we can improve communications for next year for ‘South Pole Energy Challenge’.

Updates will be available on Facebook.

We encourage you to share the messages so we can spread the news, please use #ClimateForce for any content related to the project. Thanks for your support.

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Final day in Antarctica on IAE 2016!


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Our final day in Antarctica but our team was not perturbed, ready to take it in as much as possible we made way towards our favourite landing spot, Neko Harbour. Once again woken by an announcement from Jumper, but this time much earlier than usual, it was still dark outside. He said the view was like an oil painting, a great day in Antarctica, a sunrise not to miss. Slowly but surely almost everyone made it out on deck and it was certainly worth it. The colours where like nothing anyone had seen before, the sky was ablaze with orange and pink light, perfectly reflected in the still waters of the bay, the illusion only broken by the occasional piece of ice floating into view, somehow maintaining it’s blue hues amongst all this red light.

Because we needed time later to subject our team to the daunting polar plunge, we only had the morning to enjoy Neko, the team was again split between zodiac cruising and being on shore. Everyone got the chance to hike up to meditation rock where we handed out postcards for people to write to their future selves, reminding them of what they learnt in Antarctica.

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Before we set sail back into the Drake, it was time for the Polar Plunge, for those crazy enough, they could jump off of the gangways into the freezing Antarctic waters, many did and with such style!

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Once everyone had recovered from the plunge we had a leaving ceremony, thanking Antarctica, the Ship’s captain and crew and of course Robert Swan and the 2041 Foundation, now we head back into the Drake Passage and can reflect on this incredible experience.

“My name is Isabel Grey. I am 11 years old and born in Charleston SC. I have cared about the environment and it’s creatures deeply since I was young. At age 7 I became vegetarian and at 9 I became a vegan all because of my respect towards animals. My polar journey started as I watched Robert Swan give his speech at an outdoor shop called Halfmoon Outfitter. I was so inspired that at the end, I talked to him and developed the idea of going on the expedition. He invited me to go and few days later I was playing violin on King Street. I hope to raise awareness about what we are going wrong and ways that we can help make change. 

What a special day we all had at Neko Harbor. The sunrise was spectacular; you begin to appreciate these moments because the Antarctic weather has a mind of its own. A long walk up to meditation point where team members wrote “postcards from the edge” to themselves that will be mailed to them in six months, which will serve as a great reminder to all the Team to make sure ACTION is happening around them. 

You could here the ice carving around the bay, much like thunder.

Tradition has it that the final day on the continent, means Polar Plunge time. With a great deal of excitement and with the help of Taylor Swift in the background to muster that extra bit of courage, team members one by one jumped off the ship into the icy water. Some people managed to talk to their GoPros, but for most the reactions was total shock. It is not every day that you go for a swim in Antarctica. 

A formal naval thank you, over seen by Jumper was performed on the bow by the whole team, and we all saluted the captain of the Ocean Endeavor. 

We set sail for Ushuaia, with the swell and winds picking up for a rocky night.”

Isabel Grey, 11, USA

A key part of our expeditions is the experiential learning and focussing on bringing people that can share their story and inspire even more people, because of this we love to have teachers come and join IAE, we asked one of the many with this year for their ideas on how their time in Antarctica will shape what they teach in their own classrooms.

“Inspired. Driven. Passionate.

These three words sum up just a fraction of how I am now and how I will be in the near future. In order to be real and to have relevance to those who have not experienced the Antarctic as I have, I will take back this message with passion and be inspiring to others.

I need to engage young people in the ongoing battle to change the balance of sustainability, to help them understand that they are the pivotal generation. The generation that has full understanding of the problem, and the ability to contain it with the technological advances that are coming through. Older generations had neither the knowledge or power, and in future generations the damage will be too great to remedy.

To do this I will speak to schools and colleges in my locality and make it relevant to them, and leave them with a challenge. It is important to have a ‘hook’ for the children to hang on to, and to complete, so that I can come back to look at how they have achieved. 

We must endeavour to make this part of their current language, not a novelty, or a fad that will come and go. It must be developed as part of the lexicon of the next generation and become embedded in their thought processes as a norm in their lives.

Presentations, assemblies and the like will be important but not as crucial as building a structure for schools to follow through with, to make policy and to continue this drive to change the culture of schools, ensuring that the whole sustainability subject is built into the curriculum and becomes part of everyday life.” - Tobin

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The day ended with Robert revealing his plans for the future of the 2041 Foundation with the South Pole Energy Challenge, things are gearing up!


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Antarctica Day 5 - Penguins on Petermann Island

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Another incredible sunset. Golden light flickered over icebergs on the horizon as if lit by candle. Everyone wass out to watch, leaving little time for breakfast. Some had to eat faster than others, the call for the zodiacs had been made. Half of our team headed out to Petermann Island, a low lying island surrounded by impossibly blue icebergs and home to a historic Argentine refuge hut, but it seemed like the weather was closing in again, time we had to move quickly and hope for the best.

The other half of the team got into their zodiacs to cruise around the bay, a lot whales had been spotted headed towards us, it was fortuitous timing!

“1…2…3...4...5...6! 6 ballenas Humpback juntas! Todo el equipo estábamos muy emocionados, pero fue hasta que vimos que Tara, nuestra guía por el día, estaba sorprendida que supimos que estábamos siendo testigos de algo realmente especial.

La familia de 6 nos dejó seguirlas, y en 10 minutos pudimos ver 3 rondas de "hundimientos"...18 colas en total.

En esta expedición hemos visto ballenas ballenas Humpback, Minke, Fin e incluso Orcas, pero cada vez que vemos una nueva todos nos seguimos impresionando con la belleza de estos imponentes animales. Cuando pensamos que las ballenas son solo una pequeña parte de los increíbles días que hemos tenido aquí volvemos a apreciar el enorme privilegio que tenemos de estar pasando estas semanas en la Antarctica

No puedo esperar por saber qué sorpresas nos tiene preparadas Antarctica para mañana”

“1…2…3…4...5...6! 6 Humpback whales together! All of my team was really excited, but it wasn't until we saw how surprised Tara (our guide for the day) was that we realised that we were witnessing something really special.

The “family” of 6 allowed us to follow them for a while, and in only 10 minutes we were able to see 3 rounds of diving…18 tails in total!

In this expedition we have seen Humpback, Minke, Fin and even Orca whales, but every time we see a new one we still get impressed by the beauty of these incredible animals. When we realise that whales are only a small part of the amazing days we've had so far we appreciate again the immense privilege that is spending a couple of weeks in Antarctica.

I cant wait to see what surprises Antarctica has in store for tomorrow.”

Eitan Rovero-Shein,

Mexico City, 25

On Petermann we had another chance to get up close and personal with penguins, today they seemed to be even more inquisitive about us humans, if we stood still, they would come up close and check us out but mostly to use us as a shelter from the wind.


It had been a day to encompass all of our senses;

We see the morning light,
through the darkened snow clouds
doing its best to fight
hitting icebergs floating in crowds.

Painting our snow-based view
as penguins chatter in their paces,

with another golden hue,
As the icy wind hits our faces.


Every day we say ‘this feels more Antarctic than the day before’, but what we’re learning is that Antarctic is diverse, not a white wasteland to exploit, but a homely land to many creatures that just aren’t us.

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Our second excursion of the day was really very special, we travelled back through the Lemaire Channel, but this time in the zodiacs, having been in awe of it just a day before from our ship, being inside this channel and seeing it all with the ship also in our view really gave us a better sense of perspective, the scale of it all was nearly daunting, realising how tall the mountains really are, and how tall the glacier faces are. We travelled through passing icebergs and amazing formations on glaciers, getting closer than we ever had before.

We closed the day with a talk from team member Edward who outlined a his work at NASA Ames, CA and set sail for our last stop on the Antarctic Peninsula, Neko Harbour, our favourite place to visit on IAE which we hope will be an amazing conclusion for everyone.

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Antarctica Day 4 - The Snow Storm


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0630. Lemaire Channel. Antarctica

Another wake up call from Jumper, we had to get up to see the most amazing view to wake up to, a favourite place in Antarctica for many, the Lemaire Channel. It is a created by Booth Island’s peaks and Humphries Heights mountain range making a corridor, this small body of water is like a trough with the mountains rising suddenly out of the ocean on either side, sometimes at near vertical in angle and up to a kilometre in height, the 5 mile long channel is sheltered and plays haven to minke whales, humpbacks and penguins. A truly dramatic view that encompasses many of Antarctica’s features, starkly beautiful landscapes, wildlife and, of course ice.

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After passing through for sunrise, the snowstorm only got heavier and soon our view of Pleneau disappeared into a cloud of greys. This weather meant another change of plans, with conditions too harsh for zodiacs to be deployed the team welcomed the time to rest before venturing out into the cold once more.

With announcements made over the tannoy, it was time for action, we weren’t going to let the weather get in the way, we would land at Charcot Point and cruise around the icebergs, facing the conditions head on and challenge ourselves. The experience was amazing, being pelted in the face by snow and ice did not perturb our amazing international group, to think that some have travelled for the first time from home, left the desert or not even seen snow before, now to really be in the thick of it was really something special and of course when they reached the top off the hike, it was only natural for everyone to enjoy the snow as much as possible and they had earned it!

The zodiac cruise was also a challenge, whilst witnessing natural beauty up close, sitting still on the water is a different kind of cold. We could get much closer than usual to the icebergs because they are all grounded, the bay is a shallower shelf to about 100m in depth where drifting icebergs get trapped. Knowing they are still, we can get closer because the chance of them suddenly rolling and either crushing anything near it or causing a sudden wave that could easily flip a zodiac is far lower. In a way the weather was fortunate, the new snowfall clung to the icebergs and it’s pure white tones only accentuated their stunning form and hues.

With everyone defrosting on the ship after a thorough exposure to Antarctica’s cold-hearted ways, one of our own team members, Ben Towill delivered a presentation on food, and the sustainability issues involved in its current mass production. This predominantly focussed on waste of food itself and wastefulness in its production; reminding us of our current ship-based life and the finite resources available to us here in the Antarctic, a lesson we can all take home to our daily lives when we return to the ‘real’ world.

“I almost didn’t wake up this morning. My pillow was soft, blanket was warm, and I was having a lovely dream about skipping through a field of wildflowers. By some miracle managed to ignore six of Jumper’s announcements, which were getting progressively louder and more aggressive, until finally he nearly screamed, “THIS IS THE MOST BRILLIANT VIEW YOU’LL GET IN ANTARCTICA. IF YOU’RE INSIDE, YOU’RE ON THE WRONG SIDE.”
I pulled on my fleece pants and ran out on the bow, brushing snow out of my half-closed eyes. The view that greeted me made me stop in my tracks. The ship floated through a narrow channel, shrouded in mist, with mountains of ice and rock looming on all sides. The water was like glass, interrupted only by ripples from the icebergs and snowflakes. I felt that I was on a different planet—that during my sleep the ship had sailed through a wardrobe and entered Narnia. As though on cue, a group of five humpback whales appeared, not twenty meters from our port side. And that was only the first half hour.

We got the morning off, save for the 90 minutes we got to come up with a pitch to change the world. After lunch it was back to business. Robert made an appearance in the mud room to facilitate our timely departure in the zodiacs. I exited the ship into the same mystical land I saw in the morning. Icebergs in the ocean were barely distinguishable from the snow on the mountains, which was barely distinguishable from the grey sky. We got two hours to frolic on the mountain with hundreds of penguins (maintaining the required five meter distance at all times) and observe a few fur seals sparring. A few teams decided to take the example of the seals and began a snowball fight that turned into an hour-long affair with extensive ambushing and tackling. The same group that was a few hours earlier presenting a three-pronged approach to improve water conditions in rural India was now chanting war cries and sprinting up the mountain.

Needless to say we were all breathless and full of joy when it came time to board the zodiacs again. This time we got to cruise through the Iceberg Graveyard—an area where icebergs run aground and are thus uncharacteristically stationary. This allows for the most stunning shapes, as wind and water form caves and magnificent icicles. Staring at the layers of blue, white, and grey I wondered how many years it took to smooth the ragged glacial edges, and how many years would pass before it would melt completely. It’s up to us, isn’t it?”

Sasha Landauer, USA, 19

“今天的探险旅程让我感受到自然赋予南极的力量,风雪与海浪让我们置身于神秘而浩瀚的大洋,冰山和峡谷让我们发现大自然的鬼斧神工,企鹅和鲸鱼让我们知道珍惜世界上最纯净美丽的生命。攀登冰川需要团队的力量与温暖,头脑风暴需要大家的智慧和合作,展示与演讲激励我们改变世界的愿望。今天,当一只三个月大的企鹅向我走来时,我想说,2041EXPEDITION,让我们继续前进!"

Todays expedition let me feel the natural strength from the Antarctic. Purest snow and blue wave put ourselves into the mysterious ocean; amazing iceberg and Lemaire channel let me find the creativity power of nature; penguins and whales remind me to protect the most beautiful lives in the blue planet. Teamwork of hiking today gave me unity and warmth definitely; the brainstorming of leadership connected wisdom with cooperation; the presentation and speech inspired me to think about how to make a difference. When a baby penguin came to me straightly, at the most excited moment, I wanted to thank 2041 Expedition for encouraging all of us keep going, sincerely.”


Haizhou Wang, China, 24 

With our ship anchored in Pleneau, our ship's crew pointed spotlights at the nearest icebergs, just to make sure they didn't drift towards us. This lead to a usually panic-inducing view but for us, knowing everything was under control it was just spectacular. 

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Expedition Video Update : Extreme Orca Excitement!

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Antarctic Day 3 - Classrooms In The Cold

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Today was a day of exploring our icy classroom, with clear skies giving us a beautiful sunrise we arrived at Portal point; gateway to the polar plateau. An old route used by explorers and scientists for many years, would now play host to our team members learning some outdoor skills and getting to explore group exercises with our leadership speakers, Nigel and Matthias. All focussing on taking in this experience as much as possible, one of these sessions was simply to sit and stare at the amazing view we had of the Antarctic. Our first blazingly sunny day with visibility for miles, light danced off the water and made the icebergs glisten as they slowly drifted past. 

This silent scene only being disturbed by the melodic puffs of whale blows slowly gliding between the bergs.
Serenity.

Marina Orlovic, Croatia / USA
"Danas je bio suncan dan u Antartiku. Ne mogu vjerovati da vrijeme ovdje moze biti tako lijepo. Hodali smo po kontinentu i kasnije smo isli gledati kitove. Osjecam se da sam na nekom drugom planetu, daleko od civilizacije i svega sto je poznato. Ovo mjesto je neopisivo i stalno dava, hrani mi oci a pogotovo dusu. Predivno mjesto!"
"Today was a sunny day in Antarctica. I can’t believe the weather here can be so beautiful. We walked on the continent and later we went to watch whales. I feel like I’m on another planet, far away from civilisation and everything that is familiar. This place is indescribable and it is always giving, feeding my eyes and especially my soul. Gorgeous place!"


After our sessions on the ice we headed out in zodiacs to join the picturesque scene before us, we got to see the icebergs up close and their mystical blue glow enchanted us all. The bay was filled with sunbathing Crabeater Seals and Gentoo Penguins porpoising through the mirror-like water. Our luck wasn’t so strong however...the clouds started to cover the sun and the wind picked up. Luckily at the end of our time out on the water, once again reminded of natures unpredictability we started to make our way back to the ship.

We moved through the Gerlache Straight towards Dollman Bay, where we hoped to find some Humpback whales, as we passed through the straight murmurs spread around the ship of Orcas on the horizon, moving up to the bridge we could see a row of crew leaning against the counters, binoculers in hand, all hoping to spot the whales. With so many eyes on the mission it wasn't long until we knew where to put the boat to not disturb them and to get thebest few. The bow of the ship opened up and our team flooded down, changing from side to side of the ship as sightings were made.

It seemed we had caught the pod's attention, having passed some of the Orca they caught us back up. They swam under the bow of the ship in full few of our team members turned audience as the whales pirouetted together under the waves infront of our eyes

 

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A key part of the session where we focussed on absorbing  being in Antarctica, involved not having cameras as we stared out at the view. We wanted to focus on really seeing and feeling a place, not looking at everything through a camera lens, our brilliant team member Jean Li took the opportunity to sketch her view and add it to her collection of drawings from throughout the trip, an amazing talent and beautiful way of capturing her time here in the Antarctic.

 
"Sketching has always been a way for me to relieve stress and become absorbed in something entirely independent from others. The day my flight left for Ushuaia from JFK airport in New York, I did not expect to find myself in sub-freezing temperatures with a sketchbook in hand on the least travelled continent on earth. But there I was in the airport buying myself a new notebook to take on my travels with me. Fast forward a couple of days, I’ve been drawing constantly ever since we landed on Deception Island, busying myself with outlines of Antarctic wildlife, landscapes, and ice formations. Anyone who thinks this sounds lovely is quite right, but I’ve wondered if using my raw hands to draw something is really worth the crazy amount of moisturising I must do afterwards. But in a place like Antartica where everyone is trying to capture their memories somehow, my notebook has become an extremely personal place for me not only record what I see, but share with others an experience we will never forget in a highly original way." 

Jean Li, USA, 17

Tomorrow we head to Pleneau and Port Charcot to explore the Iceberg Alleyway. As we make our way there a snowstorm has hit us and visibility has gone from seemingly infinite to just a few hundred meters if that, we’re grateful to be on such a substantial ship that can look after us and keep us sheltered during these more unfriendly conditions!

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Antarctic Day 2 - Exploring Brown Bluff Glacier

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Friday, March 18th.

Our first landing on the Antarctic Continent came at 8am on the majestic Brown’s Bluff.

Another volcanic landscape, home to seals, penguins and glaciers. On the tip of the continent we got to see how this vibrant, dramatic landscape was also a comfortable home to so many species.

Team members were in high spirits, excited to explore and climbed a spectacular glacier and were met at the top by Jason and the 2041 Team to learn about and how to navigate crevasses. There was a light breeze and temperatures hovered around -1
°C.

Half the team was ashore ascending the glacier, riddled with small holes where volcanic rock had melted down through the glacier itself, the other half of our team were out in Zodiacs spotting Leopard Seals and Humpback Whales!

Suddenly everything changed. An impossibly strong wind rushed down the icy pathways and hit the ocean, people were nearly swept off of their feet and equipment was sent hurtling to the ground. Looking down hill towards the ocean, the blue sky had turned grey and the sea was now dark and inky, waves getting higher and smashing into each other, their own sprays being carried off into the distance by this new forceful gale.

Within 10 minutes the gusts had changed from a reasonable breeze to a full 40 knots, Antarctica had firmly reminded us who was in charge and that we were here on her terms.

The winds made their way down the glacier and across the water whipping up the seas and making for a turbulent, cold and very wet journey back to the ship. It was deemed too choppy for operations to continue and with a large sheet of sea ice headed towards our ship the captain masterfully repositioned the vessel and the zodiacs took shelter behind the iceberg from the threatening waves.


Through skilled negotiating of the rough sea we all safely made it back to the ship and quickly changed from our soaked clothing to warm back up.

Once the team were dried and rested; the sea salt marks now emblazoned on our jackets like battles scars from surviving a fight with the Antarctic sea, everyone was called to the top deck.


We were now gliding through the Antarctic Sound, breathtaking gargantuan tabular icebergs were to our portside, so many were grounded here, their harsh edges creating icy corridors in a maze like fashion, so inviting to venture down but incredibly dangerous. These tabulars where another reminder of our purpose here. They had broken off from an ice-shelf, a worrying sign of climate change with disastrous consequences. Gazing our from the top deck of our ship we were in awe of these cubic forms, strange to see something natural have such a straight edge.

Another fantastic day in an incredible place, we are thrilled to have such a fantastic team that are willing to put up with whatever Antarctica has to throw at them!

Next stop, Portal Point!


Bottom Photo after text smallPhoto credit: Arjun Menon, India

"I haven’t really come across too many images of icebergs under the night sky.

I was intrigued on how they might turn up. Antarctica has some of the clearest skies and all the elements came together. I got lucky with this one."

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Expedition Video Update! : Exploring Antarctica's Dark Past

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First steps in Antarctica - Deception Island

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Finally our first landing in Antarctica! The team's excitement was somewhat subdued by our early start as Jumper invited us to get outside before the sun had even risen so that we could witness the ship entering what previously seemed like an island, through a tiny gap in the rocks, a new body of water was revealed. As we passed through these walls of rock, team members gazed up at the cliffs, down at the sea and ahead to try see just where this might be leading us. 

Port Forster, the island’s flooded caldera, is entered through Neptune’s Bellows. A volcanic crater whose walls have been breached by the sea. On the port side of the entrance are the beached remains of the Southern Hunter, a whale catcher wrecked in 1957 after it hit Raven Rock, the reef that is Neptune’s Bellows’ volcanic plug. The Island was discovered during the 1819/20 summer by William Smith aboard the HSM Andromanche. 

We first landed at Telefon Bay, a scarce landscape made of ash and snow, the most recent eruption was in 1970, everyone hiked around this stunning landscape, thrilled to finally be off the ship, in the Antarctic and for some, the first time seeing snow. Lucky to have close encounters with many wildlife like Gentoo Penguins and a napping Weddell Seal and of course the territoral fur seals. All of which we were cautious to give plenty of space and respsect, being midnful that we are visitors in their land.

It was fantastic to see everyone making sure they put down their camera and took in the view. Taking just a moment to really see where they were, many meditated on the work it took them to get to this incredible point in all of our lives, even though we had harsh weather in this incredibly desolate location, it felt right and everyone was feeling good, excited to see as much as possible.

We were lucky to make a second landing on Deception Island. At Whalers Bay. 
Whaling began in 1906, first with the norwegian Andresen and his floating factory ship, Gobermador Bories. The following season he was joined by two other Norwegians and a Newfoundland whaling company, all of which operated factory ships. The peak production year at Whaler’s Bay was 1912-13. 5000 whales were killed and processed, there were 12 factory ships, 27 whale catchers and 200 whalers based on the Island. 

Getting to see these buildings still here in the Antarctic, in complete disrepair, is a chilling reminder of what dark things we humans are able to do to the natural world around us. As we travel south along the Antarctic Peninsula, we will visit locations that are more pristine and untouched, but having seen these scars left by our predecessors, the mindset will truly be about the protection and preservation of the Antarctic.

Guest Blogger - Josselin Cornou, France

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Josselin Cornou, photographs and words.

"Un passage vers la fin du monde. Notre bateau arriva doucement - mais serrement - sur l’ile de la déception, l’un des volcans les plus distants de notre civilisation. De mémoire d’homme, je ne me rappelle pas avoir vu telle beauté, et dureté dans un monde de désolation.

Cette ile cache désolation, changement, désir, mouvement de la vie dans un monde changeant continuellement. Cet habitat n’était - il n’y a pas si longtemps, utilisé argument dans l’exploitation de plusieurs espèces de baleines.

La nature a rapidement repris le dessus, a dument travaillait à effacer les traces du passé. Les otaries sont de retour, et partagent leur environnement avec leurs homologues, les pingouins. 

Ma plus surprenante surprise ? Ces animaux non n’en rien à faire de nous. Ils nous contemplent, ils sont curieux, il semble intéressé. Cette expérience était magique et surprenante, m’amenant à me poser beaucoup de questions sur l’humanité : Sommes-nous une peste ? Pourquoi n’avons-nous pas de similaire expérience dans nos continents respectifs ?"


"A journey along the edge of the world.
Our ship arrived slowly but surely to deception island, one of the most remote volcanos in the world. I can’t recall seeing such a unique place for a long time. 

This place is not only about landscape, it’s also about delusion, change, hope, continuation of life in a moving world. 

The place was once used by the whale industry. Clues of this dark past can be found anywhere on the island.


Since then, nature progressively took back this place. Ash is slowly covering the not so ancient remains of this industry. Seals and Penguin - citizens of this lost land - are back in force.  

My biggest surprise? I found it surreal to walk next to those wild animals. They are not used to humans, and we are no threat to them. We walk, and yet those species show no interest, no fear - just curiosity and interest toward this unknown human species.

It was magical, and this reflected deeply on myself for the rest of the day. Are we a pest? What did we do so bad to be feared by most species in human occupied land? "


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Video Update : First Iceberg!

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