March 2021 – Volume Twenty-Seven, Number Three
Celebrating our 26th year.
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.
Eruc plans to row from San Francisco to Hong Kong, tagging ghost nets along the way.

Turkish-American adventurer Erden Eruc, 59, intends to row across the Pacific Ocean mainland to mainland from North America to Asia. Weather allowing, his journey will begin on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, from San Francisco. His destination will preferably be Hong Kong by March 2022.

“Pulling into Hong Kong will be very difficult with the currents and northeast winds. A visa will allow me to make landfall on mainland China if I miss Hong Kong,” he tells EN, not sure yet how Covid-19 restrictions will affect his plans.

Eruc is a renowned ocean rower with 14 Guinness World Records to his name. He completed the first solo circumnavigation by human power between 2007 and 2012. He is also the first person to have rowed the three major oceans.

In partnership with Ocean Recovery Alliance, Eruc will raise awareness about plastics in the oceans. He will also bring along beacons to tag any ghost nets that he may encounter for later collection. Other projects are being sought so the rowboat can serve as a manned buoy for scientists in need of data and observations.

Eruc is the founder and president of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Around-n-Over ( dedicated to educating and inspiring people using human powered journeys. He creates teachable moments using his online blog, in person appearances and media opportunities. 

The project is seeking a minimum of $125,000. Donations are being sought through his GoFundMe campaign:

For more information:

Port side of the Caird replica, as it currently looks.
Construction of James Caird Replica is Underway in Ireland 
The voyage of the 22-ft. James Caird was a journey of 1,300 km (808 mi.) from Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands through the Southern Ocean to South Georgia, undertaken by Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions to seek rescue for the main body of the stranded Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917. Polar historians regard the voyage of the crew in the lifeboat through the "Furious Fifties" as one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever completed.
Move ahead 80 years and you have the unsuccessful 1997 South Aris Expedition that attempted to retrace Ernest Shackleton's famous 1916 Antarctic escape voyage, on which Irish explorer Tom Crean played a key role. At that time, another Caird replica had capsized three times, and it was decided that "enough was enough,” so far safety reasons she had to be scuttled.
Nonetheless, that ill-fated re-enactment raised strong Irish interest in Crean's involvement in the overall Antarctic exploration and encouraged three Irishmen in their 60s and 70s, Jarlath Cunnane (a 1997 re-enactment organizer), Michael Brogan, Ben McDonagh and others, to build another replica of the James Caird, just one of a few such replicas in the world.
The team visited Dulwich College in early 2020 to take measurements of the original boat, then proceeded to secure the materials and begin reconstruction in March 2020 in Westport, County Mayo, Republic of Ireland. Progress has been slow due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Ben McDonagh’s labor of love.
Once completed after the Covid-19 crisis has abated, the three plan to seek a museum willing to reimburse them for the cost of construction.
The original James Caird is still on display at Dulwich College in South London, Shackleton’s old school. It is named after Sir James Key Caird, a philanthropist whose sponsorship helped finance the expedition.
The original lifeboat is sometimes lent to major exhibitions and has taken part in the London Boat Show and in events at Greenwich, Portsmouth, and Falmouth. It has traveled overseas to be exhibited in Washington, D.C., New York, Australia, New Zealand and Germany.
For more information, you can reach Ben McDonagh at:

“… the price of life is death, and that, so long as the payment be made promptly, it matters little to the individual when the payment is made. Somewhere up there, in that vast wilderness of ice and rock, were two still forms. Yesterday, with all the vigour and will of perfect manhood, they were playing a great game – their life’s desire. Today it is over, and they had gone, without their ever knowing the beginnings of decay. Could any man desire a better end?”
– Unnamed expedition teammate of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine upon realizing in June 1924 that the two climbers were lost. (Source: Into the Silence, by Wade Davis {Vintage Books, 2011} See a review of the book in the October 2011 edition of EN).

In the book's Annotated Bibliography, author Wade Davis would add, “There was indeed something Homeric about Mallory, and his companions. After the war (WWI), when so many had died, life was precious but effervescent. Perhaps this explains his willingness to climb on, accepting a degree of risk that might have been unimaginable before the war. They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger. They had seen so much that it had no hold on them. What mattered was how one lived.”

Crew of the Apollo 14
Apollo 14 Saved the U.S. Moon Program
That’s the premise of a post on, the technology, science, and transportation news service founded in 2002. David Szondy writes on Jan. 31 that the future of the U.S. Moon program depended on the success of Apollo 14.

Fifty years ago, on January 31, 1971, at 4:03 pm EST, a Saturn V rocket lifted off from Pad A of Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center carrying Apollo 14 – the Moon mission that would make or break the U.S. space program.

“If Apollo 14 is remembered at all by most people, it's mainly as the answer to trivia questions like, who was the oldest man to walk on the Moon, or what is the longest lunar golf drive? But it was far more than that. Arguably, it was one of the most important of all the Apollo lunar landing missions, with the possible exception of Apollo 11,” writes Szondy.

This is because Apollo 14 was the follow-on mission from the ill-fated Apollo 13, which suffered an oxygen tank explosion on the way to the Moon that crippled the Command Service Module (CSM) and forced the three astronauts aboard to use the Lunar Module (LM) as a lifeboat as they struggled to return to Earth.

It was a heroic episode that showed the value of courage, innovation, and training, but it also almost killed the Apollo program, which was already faced with an indifferent public and a hostile congress that would rather spend the NASA budget elsewhere. This put a lot of pressure on the space agency and the crew of Apollo 14. If it failed, if it was forced to turn back, it would almost certainly have been the last American Moon landing for the foreseeable future.

The story has a happy ending: the Apollo program was going forward again, and the way was open for Apollo 15 and the first vehicle to drive on another world.

Read the story here:
Gaelin Rosenwaks is at home in the sea. 
Finding Physty Sperm Whale Documentary Nears Completion

New York marine scientist and explorer Gaelin Rosenwaks, the subject of an Outside magazine cover story (June/July 2020), is working on a documentary about a sperm whale named Physty.

Physty fell ill and beached on the shores of Long Island, New York in 1981. A group of veterinarians worked tirelessly to return the whale back to health. Rosenwaks, then a toddler, visited the whale daily with her mother and brother. Seeing it sparked a curiosity about the underwater world that propelled her into a career of marine science, ocean exploration and conservation. 
Finding Physty documents a journey to reconnect with these fabled giants, and reveal the matrilineal bond between whales. As her mom inspired her as a child, Gaelin brings her mother to the waters of Dominica to introduce her to the underwater world of sperm whales.

Physty came from a shortened version of a sperm whale's scientific name, Physeter macrocephalus, and is a play on the word "feisty" for his behavior while in captivity.

Rosenwaks says the documentary, delayed by Covid-19, will likely premiere in late 2021 or early 2022.

See the trailer and read the Outside magazine story here:

Follow Gaelin on Instagram:

The Love Bugs

Over the course of 60 years, two married entomologists traveled to more than 70 countries and all continents, quietly amassing the world's largest private collection of insects – more than 1 million specimens estimated at a value of $10 million. But as they grapple with Parkinson's and their twilight years, these two soulmates – married for 55 years – decide to give the collection away.

This humorous and poignant documentary explores the love of Nature – and the Nature of Love – and what it means to devote oneself completely to both.

Watch the trailer here:

See the 34-min. film in selected PBS markets:

A panel discussion about the film was recently hosted by the New York Wild Film Festival featuring co-director, Allison Otto; animator, Shawna Schultz; illustrator, Jenny Nichols; and moderated by Academy member and filmmaker Mirra Bank.

Watch that talkback here:

SNEWS and The Voice Become Outside Business Journal

For years we have mined the pages of outdoor industry trade publications SNEWS and The Voice for leads to endemic companies likely to sponsor expeditions. Now both have rebranded as Outside Business Journal.   

SNEWS and The Voice are debuting a completely redesigned website with advanced digital platforms, improved press release options, a new podcast, and a commitment to delivering content that serves everyone in the business of outdoor recreation.

Anyone looking for expedition sponsorship would do well keeping an eye on outdoor industry news.

Watch the video announcement here:

For more information:

Ed Viesturs assumes design and athlete roles at HIMALI
Ed Viesturs Signs with HIMALI

HIMALI, a Colorado brand specializing in premium mountain apparel, announced that mountaineer Ed Viesturs will join the company as a partner, athlete and designer.

?Viesturs is the only American to have climbed all of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 meters (26,247 ft.) and he did so without the use of supplemental oxygen. It was a project that lasted 18 years, which Viesturs nicknamed Endeavor 8000. National Geographic named him their Adventurer of the Year after he completed Endeavor 8000 in 2005.

Viesturs has a history of propelling reputable outdoor brands, such as Eddie Bauer, Mountain Hardwear and First Ascent, as both a spokesperson and as a design consultant.

In addition to utilizing Viestur's lifetime of experience, HIMALI continues to fine-tune its performance-focused design through product testing in the Himalaya and around the globe. HIMALI also helps outfit commercial expeditions in Colorado, the Himalaya, and elsewhere.

This partnership between HIMALI and Ed Viesturs comes as they prepare to expand their product offering. Selected items from the new product line are available for presale on their website:

For more information about Viesturs visit:

Watch a sizzle reel about the new relationship here:

Robert (right) and Barney Swan want to fill Antarctic passengers with awe.
Robert and Barney Swan to Lead 2041 ClimateForce Antarctica Expedition;
“Fundraising Coaches” Available to Help Pay the $16,900 p.p. Fare
Explorers and Antarctic preservationists Robert Swan and Barney Swan have announced the launch of the 2041 ClimateForce Antarctica Expedition, produced in partnership with The Explorer’s Passage, a U.S adventure travel company. The 12-day project, which will begin this November, is a combination floating climate change learning lab, as well as an adventure trip.

“The need to focus on climate change has never been more urgent and this expedition allows for organizations, students and adventurers to come together and not only explore one of the most beautiful destinations on earth, but to better understand the urgency for change and how they can become involved and actually become part of the force of change,” said Swan, founder of the 2041 Foundation.

Passengers will participate in a blend of leadership development, up-to-date climate change training, and sustainability education to encourage their own personal climate leadership journey. Travel will be on the 460-ft. Ocean Atlantic, newly renovated in 2016, with an international ice class rating of 1B. This makes her one of the strongest ships operating in Antarctica.

The project’s Polar Carbon Negative Initiative includes offsetting the carbon footprint of the entire expedition through their partner agency Neutral Together – a tool that provides measurement of emissions using a specialized carbon calculator developed for the travel industry, and a community-based C02 offsetting model.

Robert Swan, who walked to both the North and South Poles, now dedicates his life to the preservation of Antarctica and the environment through the promotion of sustainability practices. Joining Robert will be his son Barney Swan, who trekked to the South Pole powered entirely by renewable energy. Combined, the Swans have guided over 4,000 people to the Polar regions. The expedition will also be guided by adventure travel expert Jeff Bonaldi, CEO/founder of The Explorer’s Passage, a travel company created with the mission to use adventure travel to preserve the planet.

“I don’t know anyone that has come back from Antarctica without a renewed respect and awe for our planet and the urgent need to save it,” said Bonaldi.

Prices start at a cool $16,900 per person not including airfare to Ushuaia, Argentina, the port city and Antarctica adventure hub. Sound pricey? The Explorer’s Passage works with independent “fundraising coaches” who are alumni of previous expeditions to the Antarctic to assist accepted participants.
The coaches specialize in crowd funding and corporate sponsorships, and have helped numerous candidates reach their fundraising targets. There’s also a comprehensive Fundraising Support Package for accepted applicants, and monthly fundraising support calls via Zoom.
View the itinerary (subject to change):

Vasa Syndrome
Vasa syndrome is a term used in both management and marketing circles referring to problems in communication and management affecting projects, sometimes causing them to fail.

It comes from the Swedish 17th-century warship Vasa, a ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 because it was too unstable. The disaster of the Vasa has been interpreted by management experts to have been caused by problems with communication, goal setting, and adaptability.
The 64-gun warship is now displayed in a dedicated maritime museum in Stockholm. It was discovered in Stockholm harbor in 1956 using a grapnel and a specially-made gravity-powered coring device.

For more information:

“Mars, the Untainted Planet”

Despite all the NASA hoopla, Earth is still the best planet and needs more attention according to a new satirical ad campaign from Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future global climate change movement.  

The desire to escape to a kind of Eden – to discover unexplored lands and rebuild a better world – is strong right now, according to promotional material for the ad.

“What if we run away from Earth and head to Mars?” seems to be the fantasy, as people’s mission to colonize the Red Planet is gaining momentum, and billions upon billions of dollars are being spent."

The ad’s call-to-action: “… for the 99% of humans who will stay on Earth, we’d better fix climate change.”

Fridays for Future reminds us: no one is swooping in to save us… we must save ourselves. We’d better fix climate change, we’d better take action, now. We simply have no choice. 

It was developed by FRED & FARID Los Angeles.

Learn more at:

Watch the satirical ad here:

Flight to Antarctica Puts the Ice Back in Icelandair

Four days and 42 flight hours from the top of the world to the bottom, and home again. On Feb. 26 an Icelandair flight covered the globe to pick up scientists and take them home to Norway from their Antarctic base. Videographers used a drone to capture the 767 landing at Troll airfield (QAT) at the Troll research station operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. 

The flight route was so unusual it attracted worldwide attention from aviation fans and media, including over 30,000 followers on Flightradar. This isn't Icelandair's first time in the Deep South – back in 2015, Icelandair became the first commercial airline to land a plane on a blue-ice runway in Antarctica. 

Read about the epic journey from the pilot’s perspective and watch the one-minute video, penguins and all, and you’ll realize how much you miss traveling to exotic locales:

Arc’Teryx Alpine Academy, Chamonix, July 1 to 4, 2021
The Arc’Teryx Alpine Academy is back in Chamonix July 1 to 4, 2021 for its 10th edition. The schedule will be a hybrid format of clinics and activations in the Chamonix valley, in parallel with a digital line-up of films and speakers presented by a team of world-leading mountain guides and athletes. The full program schedule will be announced in May.

?For more information:
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: @purpose_book
Get Sponsored! – 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.

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information:
EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 290 Laramie Blvd., Boulder, CO 80304 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2021 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the EN blog at
Website hosted by