Posted by: Andy | January 26, 2014

The next chapter, SOUTH!

Quite a lot has happened since my last update. I am no longer in America, in fact not only am I in a different continent, I am in a different hemisphere!

I am writing from Auckland where i have rejoined the expedition yacht SY Infinity. I sailed on Infinity for six months in 2009. The voyage was incredible, I joined in Borneo and from there we sailed through the Philippines, Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. During the trip I learned to dive, dived on some of the best dive sites in the World including WW2 wrecks, swam in the Marianna Trench (deepest water on Earth!), visited some of the most remote Island communities on the Planet and made some incredible friends. Below are a few photos of the first trip.

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Meeting the locals on Oraluk Atol

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Diving on a WW2 wreck in Palau

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Stumbled upon this little guy whilst having a walk in Borneo

Sailing Infinity

Hanging out with the local kids on Oraluk Atol, Micronesia

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Baby turtles on Mokil Atol

This trip will be very different. We will not be in the tropics, there will be no diving in 32 degree celcius water, there will be no hanging out on beaches eating coconuts. When we leave New Zealand we are heading South East through the Southern Ocean and down to the Antarctic. If all goes to plan we will arrive in the seventh continent in either the Ross Sea or the Amunsden Sea depending on conditions. From there we will hopefully do some penguin spotting and ice berg dodging before once again negotiating the Southern Ocean whilst aiming for Patagonia.

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Some of our new Antarctic survival gear

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The trip is, of course, not without its dangers. With no land masses to break up weather systems or waves, the Southern Ocean is the roughest on the planet. There is the risk of entrapment in ice and the extreme cold and isolation on the Antarctic itself is not to be underestimated. Our aim is not only to go to the Antarctic but also to make it back. If conditions aren’t accommodating we will take the decision to head straight to Patagonia and spend longer cruising the fjords and exploring the mountains.

Amongst our crew, we have three qualified captains as well as two highly experienced engineers. For communications, amongst other tools, we have a live feed from a NASA satellite providing us with almost live information on ice pack via high resolution photos. In Auckland we discovered a military surplus store which sells ex Antarctic Expedition clothing. We are now all kitted out in the warmest and toughest clothing you can imagine. Infinity herself is in great condition, she is a tough can go, does go, anywhere expedition yacht with tens of thousands of miles logged in some of the remotest corners of our oceans.

We aim to leave in the next few days so upon our return to civilisation, some point in April, I will be updating here with a few stories penned en route.

In the meantime I will leave you with the words of Joseph Conrad.

“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.”


Responses

  1. All the best Andy. Love the blog and hope you have another amazing adventure. Xx


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