Monday, January 20, 2014


Every Antarctic adventure is different, the people, the objectives and the plans, and like every trip it's the weather and the ice conditions that dictate the schedule of the days. 

January 2014 is Czech time on Xplore and we have the team of CCCC, Chirpy, Cheerful Czech Chappies and such a nice group they are.  

Heading the team of top level climbers is Mareck and the two Valdimir's, ranked as some of the best alpinists in the world, these guys are like rats up a drain pipe when it comes to ice and mountain climbing.

There is the second group of climbers who have also very much had their hey day of climbing adventures with many having climbed over 8 mountains of over 8,000 meters, so with slightly more "less scary" objectives our team two "warm penguins" as they have been fondly referred to as they are still
venturing on some dam fragile mountain faces. 

For the entire team, climbing in Antarctica from sea level has shown them a very different side of what ice and snow conditions can be like, so very different than the Himalayans and European mountains, so the learning curve has been interesting but the successes for both teams has been great.

With one team member who is an active paraglider, we have the first ever Czech pilot to take flight and soar over the white expanse. We have our technical team having made an impressive first ascent on the Osterrieth mountain range, eastern side of Anvers Island, the 14 1/2 hour climber took them from sea level to 1420 meters of truly amazing viewing, as we were able to anchor near by and watch the entire ascent with perfectly clear conditions it was better than watching a nail biting grand final in any sport. 

The decent went smoothly and with the weather starting to close in, Xplore positioned in a near bay to reduce the time the team had to traverse for the final pick up nearly 24 hours after their departure. 

With massive ice cliffs surrounding the bay, we were able to locate a stable 22 meter glacier ice face that the team AB sailed straight down onto the foredeck of Xplore ending their marathon.

The footage from their ascent as they looked directly down 80 degrees sheer ice walls, and the panoramic vistas from their altitude just takes your breath away in every sense.

The travels go on as we search for the perfect climbing routes on the most beautiful mountains here in Antarctica.


Friday, January 10, 2014

No news is good news

No news is good news. 

Well 2013 has slipped past, and what a year to remember for so many reason, the good the bad and the ugly, but what has transpired and been achieved during that year has even surprised me. 

You are right in wondering why Xplore has been quiet, with no news to report, well that is certainly not from a lack of material or inspiration, lots of that floating about down here in Antarctica. 

But the passing of 2013 has continued to bring many new plans ideas and continued works with the hydrography along with some great Antarctica clients and their projects. 

December 1st had Xplore head south to the freezer with a great group of USA skiers, the crossing was very cold with large amounts of icing on deck and in the rigging as water temperatures were below 0 degrees centigrade, but the team skied and basked in the sun light and truly enjoyed the magic that only Antarctica can show. 

January also has brought a top team of Czech climbers who are determined to climb the vast array of peaks on the peninsula, the "Chirpy, chipper Czech chappies" CCCC as we have fondly started calling them, as their enthusiasm, great spirit and helpful hands around the boat in everything we do is a lovely experience, great humour bringing loads of laughs. 

But every time I turn a corner here in Antarctica and navigate on the charts that are available, it is so glaringly obvious that the works that we did last January 2013 must continue, we have currently supplied 7 vessels with the new Xplore"Crafty charts" which comprise of 7 new, small scale charts, response to our project and what we have achieved is still getting media attention, see : 

I hope to be able to share more regular news with you all as the season continues, but I can assure you that my mind is far from inactive as I am now planning ways to be able to move forward Xplore's continued role in hydrography in these remote locations.