Monthly Archives: July 2016

The sounds

I was just introduced to Professor Philip Samartzis’ aural Antarctic odyssey, “Antarctica, an absent presence.
I like it very much.
Books and documentaries train us to think of Antarctica in pictures and while it is a dramatically different visual landscape to what most people experience from day to day, it is also a unique space in terms of sound.  On top of its natural soundscape, human activity in Antarctica brings layers of its own diesel powered, hydraulically actuated noises dedicated to survival and research.
“Antarctica, an absent presence,” is a really good book about Antarctica in your headphones.

I wished and it came true before I wished for it: more icy RSSes.

At the end of June I wished there were more Antarctic podcasts.  I just found out that the National Science Foundation started a podcast series called “The Antarctic Sun,” two months before I wished.  That’s what I call wishy efficiency.

The series is an extension of other forms of “The Antarctic Sun” NSF publications, with paper origins reaching back to 1997 and digital presence since 2007.

Only one episode is up, so far, but more are mooted.  Series presenter/producer, Mike Lucibella, is slated to head south later this year, so I am expecting some compelling Antarctic soundscapes.

027 Bruce and the SNAE

William Speirs Bruce showed the world what a team could achieve if they ignored the south pole and got on with some science.  Under his guidance the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition established the longest continually occupied meteorological station in Antarctica and discovered large numbers of Antarctic marine species but what I like most about the Scot is how much he got on Sir Clements Markham’s nerves.

Thanks very much to OroborosNZ, whom I met through, for permission to use their excellent recording of a Bell UH-1 helicopter starting up and flying off.

Did you bring the cards?


Never heard of Nordenskjold?
You have now, and he’s pretty darn spiffy.
Likely the reason Nordenskjold isn’t better known is that Shackleton and Mawson’s later tales of survival against stacked odds drew attention away from the challenges faced and bettered by the Swedes who sailed to the Antarctic aboard the Antarctic.
Carl Anton Larsen makes a repeat appearance, reprising his role as competent Norwegian ice pilot.
I’m all outta coffee and counting down the minutes until resupp.

The Hope Bay Hopefuls after their arrival at Snow Hill Island.

The Antarctic, sunk by the Antarctic.