Just in from Yankee Ocean Lifeguard Turned Aussie Lifesaver, Jerry Bennette.
August 26, 2010
As it is so hot in SoCal at the moment I thought I would send you some photos of summer in Antarctica. Please post on your site.
In January-February this year my wife Jill and I spent 38 days in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica on an expedition ship named the Orion. The ship is based in Australia and travels to the Ross Sea and Commonwealth Bay regions of Antarctica during the southern hemisphere summer when the sea ice has cleared.
Once inside the Antarctic Circle it is traditional to do a polar plunge.
The water is for the plunge is usually around minus 1 degree Celsius and the air can vary from 0 to -10 degrees Celsius. Hypothermia starts setting in after about 1-2 minutes. Jumping or diving into such cold water is not for the faint hearted hence the safety harness.
After the plunge several cups of hot rum is the reward.
English Antarctic explorer Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans on Ross Island. Cape Evans is located about 20 nautical miles from the US Base at McMurdo Sound.
That’s me in full Lifesaving gear diving into the sea in front of Scott’s Hut with Mt. Erebus in background. Scott’s Hut is located at 77.15 degrees south about 600 nautical miles from the South Pole. The air temperature was -5C and the water was -2C. Sea water starts to freeze at -2C.
In the middle of the Southern Ocean well inside the Antarctic Circle the ship sailed through an unusual area of calm water. The expedition leader decided to have a mid- ocean polar plunge with a difference as you can see. As I was always playing jokes on him he decided to get even. The water was a warm 0 degrees C and the air was -5C.
The polar plunge was very cool fun!
Jill and I enjoying a cold glass of beer on the back deck of the Orion with Mt. Erebus as background.
We have been to the Antarctic twice and would go back anytime to its beautiful pristine environment.
I am in full training for re-qualification as a patrol captain for the upcoming season at Lennox Head. At 65 it is hard work but I can still keep up with some of the young guys.
I am still in the process of scanning the substantial number of slides and memorabilia of the 1967 SLSA tour of Australia for you and Bob.
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Many Thanks to Jerry for sharing his trip further down under than most people would even consider going for a swim. Great Stuff!
Until next time.....
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