Expedition News
January 2005 – Volume Twelve, Number One

EXPEDITION NEWS, now in its 10th year, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online and via snail mail to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.

The following are highlights of our January issue, but this is only part of the story. Click here to subscribe to the full edition. or e-mail us for a free sample copy at editor@ExpeditionNews.com

STUDYING THE SLEEPING SHARKS OF JUNO LEDGE

In January 2001, sport divers located a large, mixed aggregation of lemon sharks in 82-ft. of water at Captain Curl reef, approximately 5 miles east of Jupiter Inlet, Fla. A year later a similar gathering was reported in the same area. The finding of a potentially accessible group of mature lemon sharks thus opened a unique opportunity to study the adult stages of this protected species. From Jan. 20 through mid-February, a team of divers led by Florida magazine editor Pierce Hoover, hope first to answer the most obvious question: Why are lemon sharks, a species not typically known to aggregate, gathering off the coast of Florida?

The lemon sharks were discovered by Hoover, founder of Sport Diver and other magazines, and underwater photojournalist Walt Stearns while performing routine dives off the coast of Jupiter to capture images of sea turtles and resident bull sharks. During the course of the dive, they detoured from the defined reef line to a barren, sandy area of the bottom not typically visited by dive groups. Employing utmost stealth, they were able to approach to within approximately 50 feet of the aggregation, until the noise from their scuba regulators caused the sharks to move away. On subsequent dives, they used breath-hold diving techniques to get within 16 feet of the aggregation and obtain pictures sufficiently detailed to confirm both the identity and the behavior of the sharks.

One of the primary goals of the 2005 expedition is to search for alternate locations to which the aggregation may have moved. This will be accomplished through the use of remote sensing data, ROVís and manned submersibles, and survey dives on both open and closed-circuit diving equipment. Once aggregations are located and quantified, the remainder of the expedition time will be devoted to supporting the research goals of Dr. Gruber and his associates.

Among the hypotheses the team hopes to prove is the supposition that lemon sharks, like salmon, return to their birthplace to mate and give birth, and that lemon sharks are on a two-year birth cycle.

EXPEDITION UPDATE

British Expedition Races to South Pole – Members of the Invesco Perpetual Challenge battled against the harshest conditions in 15 years, fought 70 mph winds and crossed some of the world's most treacherous landscapes. Yet they were able to reach the pole in just 37 days, reportedly a record.

On Nov. 16, they set off from the Ross Ice Shelf to begin the Invesco Perpetual Challenge (See EN, November 2004). The first leg was the 345-mile trip to the Pole. Two teams - one skiers and the other in Land Rovers - wanted not only to reach the South Pole but also to make the fastest-ever crossing of the whole continent.

Only 14 nautical miles from his target, expedition leader Patrick Woodhead, 28, talking exclusively to the U.K.ís Evening Standard, said, "We are knackered and have sore feet but we are over the moon."

When they pulled into the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station at 1 a.m. local time on Dec. 22, they completed the first and most dangerous leg of the project. With Londoner Woodhead are fellow Britons Alastair Vere Nicoll, 30, and David de Rothschild, 26, plus Canadian Paul Landry, 45. At press time, they faced a 750-mile journey to the coast, using kites to pull them along. They expect to take two weeks.

EXPEDITION NOTES

One Man. One Plane. One World. – At press time, Steve Fossett, the current Round the World Record holder in both balloons and sailboats, was readying a radical aircraft to attempt the first solo non-stop flight around the world. The pioneering aircraft Ė reportedly the world's most efficient jet plane Ė has been designed by aviation legend Burt Rutan. It is hoped the record attempt will be successfully completed within 80 hours. Sir Richard Branson, the reserve pilot, will follow the flight in the support aircraft.

Youngest Everest Attempt PlannedChris Harris, 14, plans to climb Mt Everest, reported the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald last month. Harris will attempt to become the youngest person to climb the world's highest peak in 2005.

MEDIA MATTERS

Survivor Meets Scott and AmundsenKeo Films in London will produce six one-hour documentary films by the BBC, National Geographic and the History Channel about the historic expeditions to the South Pole by Scott and Amundsen in 1911-12.

Filming will take place in April, June and July 2005, and will mostly occur in Greenland. They plan to challenge two modern teams on an expedition across a route almost identical in length and terrain to that covered by Scott and Amundsen, using only the equipment, clothing and food that were available to the original teams.

The series will interweave the contemporary experience of the teams with the history of polar exploration. The finished programs will include archive material as well as interviews with historians, scientists, medical experts, explorers and others who may be able to shed light on this period of history.

Volunteers are being sought to experience first hand what it was really like for men who undertook what has become known as one of the worst journeys in the world.

According to Keoís announcement, every effort will be made to ensure that the experience will be as authentic as possible. However, due to environmental reasons it cannot take place in Antarctica, and an area of Greenland has been chosen instead.

The producers are looking for determined, physically fit individuals to make up the teams. Although this experience will be filmed for a documentary series, it is still a genuine and potentially dangerous expedition in extreme conditions that requires complete dedication, Keo warns.

The 1,591-mi. journey will take place in Greenland and should take a maximum of 99 days. There will be two weeks of training and acclimatization before the teams set off. Volunteers are warned that during this time there will be little or no contact with friends or family and there will be no opportunity to go home.

Keo Films will cover all expedition-associated costs including clothing, equipment and food. All applicants must be over 21 and speak English fluently. (For more information: scottamundsen@keofilms.com).

EXPEDITION MARKETING

Pole-to-Pole World Record Attempt Receives ACR Sponsorship Ė Gus McLeod is used to flying on a "wing and a prayer," but for his upcoming Pole-to-Pole world record attempt this March, the veteran aviator will have a bit more help from modern safety and survival technology in his cockpit.

ACR Electronics, Inc. (www.acrelectronics.com), recently presented the 49-year-old McLeod with a treasure trove of safety and survival gear, including the newly FCC-approved AeroFix 406 GPS personal locator beacon.

McLeod, who in 2000 became the first person to fly solo in an open cockpit bi-plane to the geographic North Pole, will attempt a new record this spring by becoming the first person to fly solo around the world Pole-to-Pole in a single-engine aircraft.

EXPEDITION CLASSIFIEDS

Expedition Public Relations – Alex Foley & Associates specializes in international public relations for explorers, expeditions and adventure challenges creating maximum value for title sponsors.

Alexandra Foley is a dual British-American citizen, Honorary Secretary of the British Chapter of the Explorers Club and a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society. Her firm has executed PR programmes for numerous expeditions including the Titanic 1996 Expedition, The Ice Challenger Bering Strait Expedition, Will Crossís Novolog Ultimate Trek to Cure Diabetes, David Hempleman Adamsís Chase de Vere, Bank of Ireland and Uniq Atlantic Balloon Challenges, and his solo and unsupported trek to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and Rosie Stancerís Snickers South Pole Solo Challenge.

Alex Foley & Associates Ltd.
London, UK
alexfoley@btinternet.com
www.AlexFoleyPR.com
Tel: (+44) 207-352-3144
Mobile: (+44) 797-671-3478.




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EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc., 28 Center Street, Darien, CT 06820. Tel. (+1) 203-655-1600, fax (+1) 203-655-1622, blumassoc@aol.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Assistant editor: Jamie Gribbon ©2004 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr.; international postal rate US$46/yr. Click here to subscribe to the full edition.. Highlights from EXPEDITION NEWS can be found at www.ExpeditionNews.com and www.WebExpeditions.net. Layout and design by Nextwave Design, Seattle.

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