Monthly Archives: August 2016

031_Shackleton_Nimrod_BAE and Philip Samartzis

Episode 031 sees Ernest Shackleton head south in a dodgy ship, short on funds and with a flea in his ear from Scott, but manages to get a lot done and get everyone home safely.
Lots of firsts but the south pole remains unclaimed and, with two teams alleging they made it to the north pole, becomes even more alluring.

Douglas Mawson, Aenaes Mackintosh and John King Davis make their Antarctic entrances while Frank Wild and Ernest Joyce make their second forays south.

C Users Pete Pictures AntarcticPSD Disc_7 hut at royds

The hut at Cape Royds.


Professor Philip Samartzis of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology becomes the first artist interviewed for the series and discusses why and how he headed south for the sake of his art.
You can hear some of his work here and here.  I’ll post updates here as I hear word of the publications and performances mentioned in the interview.

Blizzard 1

Professor Samartzis with one of his recording arrays.


030_Photography_Sledging_Maladies and Jacinda Amey.

Photography, sledging, hypothermia, frostbite and snow blindness have been getting a lot of mentions in episodes addressing the heroic age and I thought it high time these things be given some attention, as they’re not leaving the narrative anytime soon and I don’t want anyone left in the dark regarding photo-keratitis.


Dr Jacinda Amey is one of New Zealand’s hardest case people and I was privileged to spend time with her at Scott Base in 2005.  Another Radio Tuna interview that never went anywhere is resurrected.

Geography the clear front runner.

I normally knock out just under an hour of content a month.  It’s cheap in terms of hosting and it keeps me from feeling pressured to use up all the storage available at the next tier in the hosting plan.
With episode 028 blowing out beyond the one hour mark no matter how tightly I edited it, I treated myself to a month at that next tier and kicked out some extra material I had up my sleeve just because I could, but the unexpected and interesting outcome of this month of langurously soaking up the luxury on offer at this level of hosting plan is that I get greater granularity in statistics about downloads.  Where I thought I had about two hundred listeners all downloading the most recent one or two episodes a month, it seems I have nearer one hundred regulars and the rest of the count arises from a small number of new listeners downloading the whole series and large number of people downloading select episodes.
I can understand episode 001 getting more attention than others, as people give it a try and find the series not to their tastes, but I don’t understand the popularity of some of the others.  Why is episode 016 getting twice the average downloads?  I think it’s a good episode but I don’t see why it stands out month after moth.  Why is episode 005 the second most downloaded per month, over the past six months, other than the most recent content?  Why is episode 002 the most downloaded overall, with twice the attention given to episode 001 and sustained high monthly downloads that outstrip episode 005?
This tier has opened my eyes to unexpected patterns with strong signals but I’m damned if I can explain them.

029 Charcot, the Francais and Professor Craig Franklin

Episode 029

Jean Baptiste Charcot heads south, in yet another ship named after a place, looking for adventure, science and Swedes.
Good food, good wine and inadequate heating and propulsion characterised life aboard the Francais but the French got a lot done, showed their mettle in a miserable display of hard as nailsness, and came home with all hands.  Trotters, on the other hand,…

Professor Craig Franklin first came on my radar in an interview with Richard Fidler.  His range of research interests includes, but is far from limited to, the physiology of ice fish.  He spoke to me about his work below the circle and I look forward to getting my hands on the “Antarctic Cruising Guide” he wrote with Peter Carey.  The author combination of a scientist and a national laureate could mean this book is the Australasian “The Log of the Sea of Cortez.”  The appended link leads to a review of the 2006 first edition but the book is now in its third iteration.  Guess the publisher.


Jean Baptiste Charcot and cartographer Raymond Rallier du Baty, demonstrating you can take civilisation south with you.

The Kickstarter page for Dave Fletcher’s “Myth Adventures” can be found here.

Make your competition entry in the reply section and you could win a (second hand, much scribbled in) copy of this wee treasure:

The Hangardeck Podcast

Pitchlock Pete, Fast Eddie and Jackscrew Jesse hosted me on episode #39 of “The Hangardeck podcast” where I spoke about aviation in Antarctica.
I was introduced to the series by Anhedral Andy, a Hangardeck regular and a fellow contributor at the ARC scale model forum.  I enjoyed working through their back catalogue as the diversity of experience in the team allows them to make the most of the knowledge and stories of the broad range of guests they bring to the mic.  I got in touch little realising how quickly they would react to my offer to speak on my pet topic.  From first contact to published episode took about a week and a half.

They’ve done their homework on effective podcasting formats, hardware and sound processing, making for a high quality series in terms of content, pace and sound.  They know their topic back to front and share their knowledge freely while taking care to not leave the uninitiated behind in a morass of jargon.

Accessible, fascinating and engaging, I recommend “The Hangardeck Podcast” to anyone with any interest in aviation and airframes as they’re knocking aero-podcasting out of the park.

C Users Pete Pictures AntarcticPSD Disc_7 matt and twin otter

Twotter on skis: twit on boots.




Robert Falcon Scott makes his first but far from his last appearance in the series and a two year voyage to McMurdo Sound.
Much sledging.  Very scurvy.
Sir Clements Markham continues to kick downhill to have his way but the back of his bullying breaks when someone take his prophecies of doom at face value.
Wilson, Shackleton, Crean, Frank Wild, Taffy Evans, Lashly and Joyce make their Ice Coffee debuts while Louis Bernacchi is back for an encore.

I struggled to keep this episode to a reasonable time, as I knew I would.  So much has been written about Scott and his story looms so large in my early understanding of the continent that I really had to work to keep this as concise as I did, which isn’t very.
I see a shadow on the horizon in the form of Scott’s second voyage south.  I don’t think I can keep that to one episode no matter how many reefs I put in my script.

Among others we’ve got Charcot’s efforts and the return of Shackleton to navigate before we get to the Terra Nova expedition, though, so set stunsails and topgallants and we’ll make what way we can before 1912 and the five concurrent expeditions of that year catch us up.

The addendum appended to the episode refers to this crew

discovery hut
The hut at Hut Point on the Hut Point Peninsula, now with added McMurdo Station.