Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Antarctica blogs take you there


To me, the continent of Antarctica seems like a different planet. It's so alien, desolate, and strange. A frozen wilderness that excites the poetic and plastic imagination.

Antarctica is a paradise for those who like frigid beauty, cold landscapes, chilly vistas. Those who work here are among the most rugged and determined human beings on Earth. I'm happy to report that there are many women who are tough enough to handle this harsh and unforgiving environment. Those sturdy lovely ladies deserve our respect and appreciation.



From the About page of the Antarctica Conservation Blog...


[QUOTE]

Direct from the frozen continent of Antarctica, this blog is written by three bold conservators who have travelled there to work - Sarah Clayton, Nicola Dunn and Ainslie Greiner. They will spend seven winter months conserving artefacts from the explorer's hut left behind by Ernest Shackleton after his attempt to reach the South Pole in 1908.

Go to the conservators' biographies.

Their blog tells you what it's like spending the winter in Antarctica, about the hut and about the conservation work they are doing.

The blog is updated a couple of times a week, and you'll always see the latest posts from the conservators at the top of the page. Scroll down to find earlier entries, or use the Categories list on the right hand side, where posts have been filed under subject matter.

Visit the conservator's blog

Working in one of the world's most challenging and beautiful environments, they face 24-hour darkness and temperatures of -40°C, with no flights out until the Antarctic summer.

Their work is a world first for conservation and is part of the Ross Sea Preservation Project led by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. They are staying at Scott Base near to Shackleton's hut at Royds Bay on Ross Island.

They'd like to read your comments on their posts, but all comments will be checked for spam before going live, so there may be a slight delay before you see them.


[END QUOTE]



Bloggers of Antarctica occupy a special spot in my heart. How grateful we should be that they provide us with an abundance of photos, information, and anecdotes.

PHOTO Above: sleeping beauties en route to Antarctica via U.S. cargo plane.

According to Roderick Nash in his Wilderness and the American Mind book, pioneers who are trying to survive in wilderness, they often consider wild country to be hostile, evil, and deadly. And so it can be. But so can civilized society. The smart mystics have always gravitated to the wilderness and lonely, uninhabited places, Jesus and Buddha being prime examples.

Crass, materialistic psycho-capitalists thought Alexis de Toqueville to be insane for wanting to go deep into the American wilderness--for the pure pleasure of it. They were there only to profit off the furs, skins, gold, lumber, and other resources to exploit and abuse.

PHOTO Above: Antarctic ice cave and Zee Evans.

The science being conducted down there has implications for us all. Especially when we begin colonizing other planets.



The bloggers and others down there have to wear special wrist-monitors that tell them how much sunlight exposure they've had, so they can stay healthy.



Many survival tactics, specific to the frozen expanses of Antarctic, and other innovations, are being pioneered by these brave and sturdy souls.



PHOTO Above: field camp tent Seymour Island.


So, when you're dripping with sweat, cranking up the air conditioner, or reaching for another lemonade, remember your brother and sister bloggers "down south" as they like to call it. Perhaps a cool breeze will waft past you from the frozen zone.



antarctic monkey

Random Writings

Julius' Travels in the South

Dave Down South

Antarctic Heritage and Conservation Blog

EDIT UPDATE: If Antarctic explorers and researchers are blogging, what the hell is wrong with American corporate CEOs? I think you and I both know the answer to that one.


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