Expedition News
August 2005 – Volume Twelve, Number Eight

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 August 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


The last time we wrote about polyethylene pipes it was about a so-called "polar capsule" crammed with memorabilia that was left at the North Pole in 1986 by Will Stegerís expedition. It wound up three years later on a beach on the northern coast of Ireland barely the worse for wear. Now this seemingly indestructible gas piping has been selected as the medium of choice for a group of veteran explorers planning to cross the Atlantic in a polyethylene raft.

What makes this different from your everyday story about an ocean voyage on a 25- by 40-ft. raft made out of pipes is that skipper Anthony Smith, 79, and his three fellow crewmen are all aged 69 or older. The Ocean-Odyssey Expedition will cross the Atlantic 3,000 miles by raft, departing from the Canaries early next year, and arriving in the Bahamas some 50 days later. Smith will be accompanied by Pat Ryan, Irish, 69; Alexander Spence, Scottish, 84; and Sid Davies, Welsh, 79. Average age: 78.


Out of Thin Air Ė The book that high altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard wrote in the relative peace and calm of a local Starbucks (see EN, April 2003) has been published by National Geographic. Titled The Ice Maiden, it chronicles the frustrations of working in a poor country (artifacts that he gives to a national museum disappear), the political infighting among rival researchers, and the mummyís effect on his own life.


EC Film Festival Seeks Entries – The fourth annual Explorers Club Documentary Film Festival will be held on Jan. 21, 2006. The Film Festival will honor filmmakers who share its vision for, and commitment to, a healthier planet in the 21st century. The festival will be a daylong celebration of the best in films on the subjects of Scientific Exploration, Field Research, and Wildlife & Conservation. The competition is open to the general public. Deadline: Oct. 14, 2005. (For more information: www.Explorers.org).


"Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go." – The Journal of Captain James Cook


"Iíll Send an S.O.S. to the World"

Turks & Caicos National Museum Seeks Messages in Bottles

The pop group The Police sang about it, Kevin Costner starred in a film of the same title but what is the truth behind messages in a bottle? Who writes them? Why are they written? How far do the bottles travel before being washed upon a beach? How long does it take for the messages to be found? These are just some of the questions that have been raised by the Turks & Caicos National Museumís Message in a Bottle Project. The program was established in 2001 to help oceanographers better understand ocean currents and drifts. (For a complete copy of this trip report, e-mail us for a free sample issue: editor@ExpeditionNews.com).

Trip Report: An Everest Climb Gone Wrong

By Chris Grubb

Chris Grubb, 25, an MBA candidate at Columbia Business School, failed in his attempt to climb Everest last May, in part due to a problem with his oxygen (See EN, April 2005). In a candid trip report sent recently to family, friends and sponsors, he explains what went wrong in our August issue.


Going to Extremes – What does it mean to attempt a solo expedition to the North Pole? Wave Vidmar tells the June 2005 issue of GQ Magazine, "Öwhen the full moon comes out, itís rock Ďní roll time, because you get the tides going and the ice is really breaking up. It sounds a lot like a factory, like gears whining and screeching. Itís like somebody blew up a bunch of buildings, ice strewn about like big white slabs of concrete."

Vidmar continues, "Now imagine having to drag a 350-pound sled over all of this, which is basically like dragging an empty refrigerator from San Francisco to Baja California.

"Öthereís no harder expedition in the world (than a North Pole trek) Ö itís at least ten times harder than climbing Mount Everest. Itís not as technical, but itís more demanding on you physically and mentally," he tells GQís Greg Veis. "The cold is Ö an assault on your body. It forces you into strange situations, too. Like having to warm toothpaste in a cup of hot water just to squeeze some out. Or how once you learn to pee lying down, you donít dump the pee bottle out because itís warm and you can use it to help heat your sleeping bag at night," says Vidmar.

Wiese Treks to TV – Explorers Club president Richard Wiese, 46, will host a new syndicated broadcast TV series called Exploration with Richard Wiese. Executive producer and creator of show, David L. Morgan, joins forces with the creators of The Amazing Race, to deliver a global production that, according to their press material, "is guaranteed to fan the flames of our inherently shared instinct to explore." Building on 15 years of ratings success with Jack Hannaís Animal Adventures, the new series from Litton Studios will premiere this fall as a weekly half-hour, live action series airing on weekends.


Six Feet Underwww.findagrave.com Ė Interested in where explorers and adventurers departed on their last great expedition? The site identifies the final resting places of dearly beloved explorers such as Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson (but, alas, no Frederick Cook), Richard E. Byrd, Jr. (buried not far from Peary in Arlington National Cemetery), and Adolphus Greeley (also a neighbor). Lindberg, Mallory, Norgay are listed as well. Itís a fascinating, if somewhat morbid read.


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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 ©2005 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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