February 2005 – Volume Twelve, Number Two
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.
Voyage RECORDS Fragile Beauty of Antarctica
A two-masted, 85-ft. reinforced aluminum ship, the Tara, set sail Jan. 5 from Chile's Port Williams, some 1,488 miles south of Santiago, on a journey that will serve as part of the Project Genesis, which renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado launched in 2004 with the backing of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The aim of Genesis is to photograph, over a period of eight years, "the pure and virginal face and nature of humanity," said the photographer. "We have been very fortunate because the weather has been magnificent" for photographing the wonders of Cape Horn, at the far southern tip of South America, the Drake Passage, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Islands, and the South Shetland, Arturo Pratt and Hope islands, Salgado said in an interview with the Tierramérica news service last month.
Frostbite Plagues Siberian Expedition – The Expedition Kolyma/Siberia team (See EN, January 2003) continues to slog along in Siberia, considered the coldest inhabited place on earth. In the team’s fifth report, filed Dec. 16 after completing 1,116 miles, expedition leader Mikael Strandberg, 43, writes, "When we left civilization at Zyryanka a month ago, nobody believed we would be able to ski during the darkest and coldest winter and survive. Nobody. They all believed we would succumb to the extreme cold. When we arrived at the small Yakut settlement of Srednekolymsk today, in minus 61 degrees F., we were hailed as heroes. That's a real honor since it comes from the toughest and most durable humans on earth, the Siberians."
Strandberg, who is traveling with his assistant and fellow Swede, Johan Ivarsson, 21, continues, "There is no proper way to describe the extreme cold we've experienced the last month. We've had an average temperature of minus 49 degrees F. and the truth is, it's been a bit of a nightmare, mainly due to the fact that we're traveling during winter and mostly in darkness. And since there's hardly any daylight, the temperature stays the same all the time. Extremely cold. We've suffered frostbite on every finger, a right cheek and a nose. When the temperature hit minus 59 degrees F. all metal objects in our equipment, including our ski bindings, just fell apart. So we've actually walked part of the way.
"Anyhow, even though we've encountered some small problems, it has been a fantastic exploration along the Kolyma. We've done what we're here to do, document every single person and log cabin along the river. Trappers, hunters and fisherman. Truly some of the greatest human beings on earth today. We've also updated old maps, so I have to say we've done a good job." The team expects to conclude the expedition after another 434 miles when they reach the mouth of the river at Ambarchik Bay in late April. The expedition’s main sponsors are: Talarforum of Scandinavian AB, Mockfjärdsfönster AB, and The North Face. (For more information: www.siberia.nu).
Microlight Circles India – Two Indian Air Force pilots who had embarked on an expedition to circumnavigate the country in a microlight aircraft, landed safely last month after their 23-day, 4,650-mi. adventure. The Indian Air Force Microlight Challenge All India expedition, which began on Jan. 1 in Delhi, involved a flight with 41 landings through 13 states on the subcontinent.
The pilots logged continuous flights of 3-1/2 hours at a stretch, flying six to eight hours a day to complete the expedition in a total 87 hours. "The aim of the expedition was to educate children about the tsunami and the losses suffered by the Indian Air Force, to popularize aero sports, and to enhance the name of the Indian Air Force," said Squadron Leader A P Kashyap, navigator of the expedition. The microlight is a two-seater open aircraft made of hollow aluminum tubes and is equipped with a two-stroke engine.
Back to the Future Star Backs Longitude Expedition – Actor and Parkinson's disease research advocate, Michael J. Fox, showed his support of the Drive Around the World Longitude Expedition by signing one of the team’s expedition vehicles on Dec. 29.
Individuals who support the journey by donating $10 or more to the expedition are entered into a drawing to win the autographed car – a 2003 Certified Pre-Owned Land Rover Discovery. You might say the vehicle is a bit used – it has visited schools throughout the U.S. as part of the expedition's education program. (Still, a free used SUV is better than no SUV at all).
The Longitude Expedition team began their quest in November 2003 with the aim of raising money for Parkinson's disease research by driving four Certified Pre-Owned Land Rover Discovery’s around the globe along lines of longitude. After driving across four continents, more than 30 countries and over 32,000 miles, the expedition will conclude Feb. 28 at the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif. (For more information: www.DriveAroundTheWorld.com).
ON THE HORIZON
Women of Discovery Awards – The Wings Worldquest 2005 Women of Discovery Awards arrive in New York on Mar. 2. The awards were established to identify and honor outstanding women who have made significant contributions to world knowledge through exploration. The event will take place at the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South in New York and will honor: Sue Hendrickson, best known for finding the Tyrannosaurus rex that was named "Sue" in her honor; Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary geologist for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI); Ana Pinto, who changed our understanding of how extinct cave bears lived and interacted with prehistoric humans; Sabriye Tenberken, who translated Tibetan into Braille, then established Tibet’s only school for the blind in Lhasa; and Marianne Greenwood, who spent decades photographing and writing about the indigenous people in the Americas, the Pacific Islands, Papua, and Asia. (For more information: www.WingsWorldQuest.org).
Remembering Genevieve W. Gore – Will Steger had a dream back in the late 1980’s to be the first to accomplish a non-mechanized crossing of Antarctica. No, not via the classic Weddell Sea to Ross Sea route, but the hard way. The really hard way – an $11 million, 3,741-mi., seven-month Trans-Antarctic expedition. Steger’s team in 1989-90 chose the longest possible stretch, from the northern point of the Antarctic peninsula (Hope Bay), past Mount Vinson, highest peak on the continent, through the Thiel Mountains to the South Pole, then on through eastern Antarctica, via the USSR station Vostok, through Wilkes Land and down to the Davis Sea to the (then) USSR’s Mirny base.
Dozens of companies were approached, but only a few had the vision to provide the necessary support to this mammoth expedition. One was W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of its namesake waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex laminate, which provided cash support and the garments used by Steger’s team. A big supporter of the effort was Genevieve W. Gore, co-founder of W.L. Gore. Sadly, Mrs. Gore passed away Jan. 20 at the age of 91, leaving behind a strong legacy of expedition support.
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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, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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