EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
September 2020 - Volume Twenty-Six, Number Nine
Celebrating 25 Years!
Elcano 500, Jimmy Cornell's new Outremer 4X catamaran. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Cornell.
ELECTRIC SAILBOAT CELEBRATES WORLD'S
Author, sailor and event organizer Jimmy Cornell has just launched his latest expedition sailboat, this time a fully electric 48-ft. Outremer 4X called Elcano 500, and next month he plans to set off from Seville, Spain, to celebrate and follow the route of the first circumnavigation, completed in 1522 by the Spanish sailor Juan Sebastian Elcano.
Elcano set off from Seville in 1519 with Ferdinand Magellan, taking command of the expedition when Magellan was killed in the Philippines, and completing the round-the-world voyage the following year.
According to CruisingWorld.com, Cornell is calling his latest adventure the Elcano Project. The boat's name, besides paying homage to the first circumnavigator, is a play on "Electricity. Carbon. No!"
The voyage will follow the original course, stopping in Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Puerto Julian and passing through the Magellan Strait. From there, Elcano will set off across the Pacific, visiting Puka Puka in the Cook Islands, Guam, and the Philippines, including the island of Mactan, where Magellan was killed.
From there, Elcano will visit several other Pacific islands, cross the South Indian Ocean, round the Cape of Good Hope and return to Seville. The 30,000-mile voyage is expected to take less than a year.
Learn more about the project here:
Members of the expedition play cards while Akademik Fedorov pushes deeper into the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Chelsea Harvey/E&E News
No "Hot Pants" Permitted on Arctic Expedition; Women Explorers Face Sexism
"No leggings. No crop tops. No 'hot pants.' Nothing too tight or too revealing." That was the warning women on an expedition ship faced last fall. Thermal underwear worn on the outside was also banned in common areas.
It was for their own safety, they were told. Most of the crew on board the Russian research vessel named Akademik Fedorov were men.
The MOSAiC expedition across the frozen Arctic Ocean, touted as the largest polar science expedition in history, revealed problems of gender inequality in scientific field missions, according to a Sept. 8 story by Chelsea Harvey of E & E News. MOSAiC is spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany.
The rules prohibiting tight clothing were a "safety issue." Some of the men on board would be spending months at sea. The implication seemed clear to four female reporters. Women should dress modestly or risk being harassed - or worse - by men on the ship.
In the following weeks, the new rules would breed an undercurrent of resentment, according to Harvey.
Expedition leaders denied the rules were meant to single out women. But many MOSAiC participants felt they perpetuated an insidious form of sexism: the idea that women's bodies are a distraction in the workplace and that women are responsible for managing the behavior of men.
The ship's mission: to assist the MOSAiC expedition's flagship vessel, the German icebreaker Polarstern, in setting up a network of drifting research stations on the Arctic sea ice. At the end of the six-week voyage, Akademik Fedorov returned to Norway. Polarstern stayed behind, freezing itself into the sea ice for a yearlong drift across the central Arctic. The mission will conclude this fall, when the Polarstern returns from its voyage.
"It seems like in particular the women were being targeted because of this whole tight yoga pants, hot pants, whatever they were actually called," said Jessie Creamean, a researcher at Colorado State University and one of the only female senior scientists on board.
Experts say these issues illustrate wider challenges women still face in polar science and field research across the board.
A 2018 study, commissioned by the National Science Foundation, investigated the prevalence of sexual harassment in academic science, engineering and medicine. The report listed isolating environments, such as remote field sites, as among the key risk factors.
The same study found the two biggest predictors of harassment in science are settings in which men outnumber women - common in polar expeditions - and environments that suggest a tolerance for bad behavior, with leaders who fail to take complaints seriously or punish perpetrators or who don't protect victims from retaliation.
See the study here:
Read the E & E News story here:
One bra = three vodka shots at Vernadsky base. Photo taken in 2010. Ten years later the offer still stands.
EN can recall visiting the Vernadsky Research Base, a Ukrainian Antarctic Station, in 2010. Many of the women on the trip were uncomfortable to learn that the all-male base had a standing offer of three vodka shots to any woman who donated their bra to the Faraday bar, promoted as the southernmost bar in the world. Men on the base saw it as harmless fun; we viewed it as somewhat cringey.
A treasure trove of 1,200 rolls of undeveloped film.
Rescuing the World's Unseen Photos
While the Kodak FPK camera known to be in the possession of legendary climbers Mallory and Irvine on Mt. Everest in 1924 is most likely lost to history (see EN, July 2020), some believe that if it's ever found, there's a chance undeveloped images could still be processed. Meanwhile, two photographers have made a name for themselves rescuing other lost and undeveloped images that provide valuable insight on how the world lived decades ago.
For many of us, a time capsule is simply a shoe box filled with memorable items. The photographic time capsule that Boise, Idaho, photographer Levi Bettwieser uncovered was approximately 1,200 rolls of unprocessed film from the 1950's, shot by a mysterious photographer named "Paul."
As the creator of The Rescued Film Project, Bettwieser has been finding and recovering rolls of "lost and forgotten" film for years.
"Knowing I am the first person in history to see these images leaves me humbled," he says. "When I process them I have no idea what I am going to get."
See the BBC feature about rescued images here:
See many of "Paul's" lost images here:
Ron Haviv, an American photojournalist who covers conflicts and is co-founder of VII Photo Agency in New York, is another photographer passionate about uncovering undeveloped rolls of film. His work has led to creation of a national archive of images from the public's lost rolls, and can be seen in his book The Lost Rolls (Blurb Publishing, 2015).
Learn more here:
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"What did the mountains care about our plan to climb them, rafting the waters that divided them? They had eternity before us, and eternity after us. We were nothing to them."
- Erica Ferencik, Massachusetts-based novelist, screenwriter and stand-up comic. She is author of Into the Jungle (Gallery/Scout Press, 2019), and The River at Night (Gallery/Scout Press, 2017) where this quote originated.
A new building in Antarctica breaks ground at the Rothera Research Station. Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, the project aims to facilitate the British Antarctic Survey's (BAS) ongoing climate-related research.
Can Antarctica Stay Free of Coronavirus?
At this very moment a vast world exists that's free of the coronavirus, where people can mingle without masks and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away.
That world is Antarctica, the only continent without COVID-19. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered over on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks or months, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don't bring the virus with them, according to Cara Anna and Nick Perry writing for Associated Press (Sept. 13).
Good internet connections mean researchers at the U.K.'s Rothera Research Station have watched closely as the pandemic circled the rest of the planet.
New Zealand's Scott Base will be able to test for the virus once colleagues start arriving this month, weeks late because a huge storm dumped 20-foot snowdrifts. Any virus case will spark a "red response level" with activities stripped down to providing heating, water, power and food, according to AP.
While COVID-19 has rattled some diplomatic ties, the 30 countries that make up the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) teamed up early to keep the virus out. Officials cited unique teamwork among the United States, China, Russia and others.
As a frightened world was locking down in March, the Antarctic programs agreed the pandemic could become a major disaster. With the world's strongest winds and coldest temperatures, the continent roughly the size of the United States and Mexico is already dangerous for workers at 40 year-round bases.
"A highly infectious novel virus with significant mortality and morbidity in the extreme and austere environment of Antarctica with limited sophistication of medical care and public health responses is High Risk with potential catastrophic consequences," according to a COMNAP document seen by AP.
Since Antarctica can only be reached through a few air gateways or via ship, "the attempt to prevent the virus from reaching the continent should be undertaken IMMEDIATELY," it said.
No more contact with tourists, COMNAP warned. "No cruise ships should be disembarking." And for Antarctic teams located near each other, "mutual visits and social events between stations/facilities should be ceased."
In those hurried weeks of final flights, the U.S. "thankfully" augmented medical and other supplies for winter and beyond, said Stephanie Short, head of logistics for the U.S. Antarctic program.
"We re-planned an entire research season in a matter of weeks, facing the highest level of uncertainty I've seen in my 25-year government career," she said.
Read the story here:
Horodyskyj has added polar guide to her list of accomplishments.
Ulyana N. Horodyskyj Lives a Life of Science and Adventure
In heavy seas off the coast of Antarctica, Ulyana N. Horodyskyj, Ph.D., 34, a field researcher and adventurer from Broomfield, Colorado, guides her 19-ft. inflatable Zodiac filled with cruiseship passengers back to their expedition ship. The ship is dangerously rising and falling like a pogo stick. Dumping paying customers into the sea would not be helpful, but she nails it. It is a final exam of sorts for her certification as a polar guide with the Polar Tourism Guides Association.
This is her second working trip to Antarctica and just the latest in a series of adventures for a scientist who by age 23 had conducted research on all seven continents. Men's Journal magazine named Horodyskyj (pronounced - horo-DIS-kee) one of the world's most adventurous women in 2019, one who is redefining the limits of what's humanly possible.
The journey of a landlocked Coloradan to Antarctica begins with an upbringing in an outdoorsy family in Rochester, New York, competing in high school science fairs, and eventually receiving a Masters in Planetary Geology from Brown University, and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Her resume sits squarely at the intersection of adventure travel, citizen science and exploration. Horodyskyj has tested spacesuits in a Falcon 20 "vomit comet" and was once Maytagged in a human centrifuge at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center.
To study climate change, Horodyskyj traveled to the icefields of Mount Everest, the fjords of Baffin Island, the Svalbard archipelago near Norway, and the glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro - all wild and remote terrain where the effects of a changing planet are often most easily observed.
In 2016 she spent 30 days locked inside a three-story 636 sq. ft. habitat as part of the HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog) program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She served as was commander of a team of two men and one other woman studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. There was no Internet, no email, but they were constantly monitored as the team tossed back vitamin D pills to counteract the lack of sunlight - the NASA version of the TV show Big Brother.
Today, as a member of the Fjallraven Local Guides program and a Fellow of The Explorers Club, she's passionate about teaching environmental science at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, while running Science in the Wild, which she founded in 2016 to host citizen-scientists on immersive international expeditions to the Himalayas, South America and the Arctic.
"These are not tourist trips. There's hard work to be conducted alongside researchers who will publish the work. It's my passion to make science accessible, fun and interesting so people will commit to join us," she says.
Ulyana is married to professional musician and expedition guide Ricardo Peña, who she accompanied this past July as he completed number 50 in his quest to summit the tallest peak in each state. The 60-mile roundtrip hike to Wyoming's Gannett Peak (13,810-ft.) while saddled with a grueling 42-pound backpack, was her 28th U.S. highpoint.
"I was drawn to geology and natural sciences - it was a career path that allowed me to pursue my passion for wild places which were imprinted upon me at an early age," she said while taking a break from her latest project: analyzing and interpreting climate data for the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Alaska Climate Research Center.
"Science provides answers and solutions to problems facing our planet. Science not only brings us modern conveniences such as air flight and smartphones and GPS, but it's our best chance to cure the most serious health issues facing the world today."
Learn more about Science in the Wild at:
Recently Horodyskyj won the Leif Erikson Award from the Iceland Exploration Museum along with fellow Coloradan Jeff Blumenfeld, editor of Expedition News, and Canadian explorer George Kourounis, who has documented many forms of severe weather.
Read the announcement here:
In 2019, the red, white and blue, compass-adorned Explorers Club flag that was personally flown by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong on humanity's first moon landing mission was presented back to The Explorers Club in New York City, 50 years after the historic expedition. Neil's sons, Rick and Mark Armstrong, donated the flag to be hung in the Club's Apollo Room for posterity. Collectibles Authentication Guaranty (CAG) certified its authenticity and provenance.
Save Those Space Collectibles
A recent survey taken every year by the Asheford Institute of Antiques showed that space-related collectibles are the most wanted things on a list of 14, probably because various moon landings, rocket launchings and sales of item related to space exploration get so much publicity. In fact, a U.S. flag mounted to a card signed by the three Apollo 11 astronauts was sold at auction by NateDSanders.com Auction Company for $63,195.
According to Kovels newsletter for dealers, collectors and investors (May 2020), space exploration has been a fascinating subject since Buck Rogers and other famous characters appeared in comic strips, TV shows and movies.
Read about The Explorers Club flag that flew to the moon on Apollo 11:
Goal Zero Promotes a Solar-Powered Archaeological Expedition to Peru
Goal Zero Promotes a Solar-Powered Archaeological Expedition to Peru
If you've ever wondered how expedition teams manage to keep their gear powered while traveling in remote locations, this short video is for you. It comes courtesy of Adventureblog.net and Goal Zero, makers of battery packs and solar chargers for use in rugged environments.
In this case, the manufacturer follows Preston Sowell and his team of archaeologists and filmmakers as they head to an isolated lake in the Peruvian Andes in search of a lost Inca temple.
The video tells the story about how power was provided in the field to capture footage for a full-length documentary for National Geographic. It explains how cameras, computers, drones, and other gear are kept functioning while exploring off the grid.
See it here:
Enter the Digital Detox Challenge
Explorers and adventurers are used to being off the grid. Thus readers have a great chance at being selected for the Digital Detox Challenge sponsored by SatelliteInternet.com.
SatelliteInternet.com is an online resource aimed at helping people compare satellite and rural internet providers in their area. They are looking to hire someone to go off the grid and detox from day-to-day calls and screens for two nights, and then use a mobile hotspot connection to report on their experience.
Two nights? Seems easy enough to us. The winner receives up to $1,000 in an RV reimbursement, transport and food.
Apply here. Deadline is Sept. 23, 2020.
Jenny Wordsworth knows what it's like to face death in pursuit of adventure.
Embracing Failure with Jenny Wordsworth
Free Webinar, Sept. 29, 2020
Locked down and masked up, we welcome any opportunity to stay in touch with explorers and adventurers around the world, even virtually. Jenny Wordsworth is a lawyer, professional endurance athlete, keynote speaker, brand ambassador for Atkins and a Polar Ambassador to the U.K. On Sept. 29 she's hosting a free talk online with the Scientific Exploration Society.
Wordsworth has traveled and raced some of the most arduous and renowned endurance events in the world and while enjoying major successes, she has also faced major failures as well. She will recount her attempt to break the world record for the fastest solo, unsupported and unassisted ski from the coastline of Antarctica to the South Pole in 2018. The expedition nearly ended her life.
In November 2019 she returned to Antarctica to finish what she started and she will explain more about lessons she learned along the way.
Register for the webinar free on Eventbrite:
Voices on the Road
Deep in the remote Peruvian Amazon a road is quietly destroying a protected rainforest, causing conflict and fear. But for some indigenous communities, desperate for change, it also brings hope.
The road is cutting through a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Manu Biosphere Reserve - and opening it up to the outside world.
Many indigenous communities are struggling to live in this "paradise" and the road brings the promise of a better life. But at what cost? An award-winning documentary created by filmmakers Eilidh Munro and Bethan John is now available to stream free online at https://www.voicesontheroadfilm.com/
Take 23 minutes out of your life to watch it. It has received rave reviews, including a special congratulatory message from Sir David Attenborough. The people of Manu deserve to be heard.
Rash-like non-frostbite injury characteristic of extended time in polar environments. It's a form of mechanical abrasion combined with air temperature fluctuations/variations in pockets of air trapped beneath clothing layers. It is generally only seen in polar environments, especially among skiers, due to frequent hip extension which stretches clothing covering the thigh. (Source: wikem.org)
For a particularly horrifying example, and you're not particularly squeamish, see Jenny Wordsworth's Instagram account. En route to the South Pole for a second time, she convinced herself her polar thigh was healing to get a free pass to continue. While she couldn't smell it personally in the cold, it's apparently quite odiferous.
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism
(Rowman & Littlefield, April 2019) by Jeff Blumenfeld - How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? These are stories of inspiration from everyday voluntourists, all of whom have advice about the best way to approach that first volunteer vacation, from Las Vegas to Nepal, lending a hand in nonprofits ranging from health care facilities, animal shelters and orphanages to impoverished schools. Case studies are ripped from the pages of Expedition News, including the volunteer work of Dooley Intermed, Himalayan Stove Project, and even a volunteer dinosaur dig in New Jersey.
Read excerpts and "Look Inside" at: tinyurl.com/voluntourismbook @purpose_book
Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the book from Skyhorse Publishing called: Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.
Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands' End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.
Buy it here:
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