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.

Antarctic Day 3 - Classrooms In The Cold

Portal view small
Portal Point grid small

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.

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


Jean Li Sketches Small
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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  • Guest
    Mel Sierra Monday, 21 March 2016

    Great reading the experiences, looking forward to reading more of them. Yes keep sharing pictures and videos, keep us informed. Thanks.

  • Guest
    James Monday, 21 March 2016

    WOW! So great to watch you all from our keyboards and phones back in NYC. Keep sharing all that you are doing!! :D

  • Guest
    Mark Downes Monday, 21 March 2016

    The photos look amazing! Hope you are all having fun, Team Shell (Xavier and Alissa :)) in particular and taking in every moment. We are having fun in the office at our desks....

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Guest Wednesday, 26 April 2017