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Antarctica (HD)
Weekly
 
Join the journey to one of the most remote and hostile corners of our planet... Antarctica. An Eath Touch crew sets out on a mission to film the iconic animals that have learned to survive on the planet's driest, windiest and coldest continent. But before they can put their camera's to work, the crew must cross the world's roughest ocean, dodge an iceberg or two and try not to succumb to the cold.
 
Short video portraits of some of the women scientists, artists, teachers, technicians and support personnel working in Antarctica. For more information about this project and the work of the women featured in these short video portraits please visit our website, WomenInAntarctica.com.
 
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The final full episode arising from my trip to Hobart. Ron Hann, Peter Reid and Rob Nash speak about their time in Antarctica and I bloviate about my favourite podcasts. Ah, narrowcasting, you path to digression, you. I'm hoping the next time you'll hear from me I'll be speaking about November 1928 events at Deception Island at Deception Island ...…
 
The second tranche of interviews from my time at the Australian Antarctic Festival in Hobart. Barry Becker, Denise Alan and Trevor Luff discuss their time with ANARE and I look forward to seeing Dr Brewin in December.
 
A look at practical, political and ecological developments arising as the whaling fleet, largely comprising Norwegian vessels and crews, set about the business of ridding the Southern Ocean of those pesky cetaceans. I'm none too fond of the booze culture of my home nation, the other nations I've lived, and Antarctic bases, but Nicholas Johnson' ...…
 
Four of the interviews I recorded at the 2018 Australian Antarctic Festival in Hobart. Bob Tompkins, Joe Johnson, Ian Toohill and John Gillies share some fo their experiences in the south and Dave Davies rounds the episode out with some Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
 
Bringing to a close the trilogy of Arctic aviation episodes, this episode ties up loose ends sufficient to fully set the aviation scene for the first flights in Antarctica. I've really enjoyed putting these episodes together. Recent Tasmania adventures get some sizzle but the content won't reflect my time in Hobart until later this month.…
 
Flying in the Arctic posed a dodgy prospect but faint heart never ended up dead on a tundra.
 
With aircraft offering opportunities to keep the feet dry and singalling a possible end to the miseries of sledging in all its forms, key players were keen to get flying. Efforts in the north require some attention as the experiences in the Arctic shaped the approach those key players took when they brought flying machines south.…
 
Sir Ernest makes his final alive foray to South Georgia before making two further Atlantic voyages while dead.
 
With Sir Hubert Wilkins set to take a prominent role in several episodes I sat down for coffee and a chat with Jeff Maynard, who knows more about Australia's forgotten polar explorer than I know about most of my family.
 
Boom! Two episodes in quick succession. Weren't expecting that, were you? I was too excited about sharing the story of Lester and Bagshawe to wait a month to get this out and so trebled the five buck monthly outlay on the hosting service to service my need to let you know about the two and the dogs. The most disarmingly charming chapter in Anta ...…
 
Many Antarctic veterans served in the First World War. This episode I outline the military service of several of those veterans who will make return appearances in the south. The Great War also affected the political landscape of Antarctica and that gets some attention, too. How long's it been since I published a short episode? You'll be halfwa ...…
 
The various parties of the ITAE come in out of the cold and most of them immediately head off to war.
 
Frank Worsley knocks it out of the park, navigating across eight hundred nautical miles of open ocean with four sextant shots. Tom Crean breaks through thin ice for the final time in our saga. Shackleton tries to get back to Elephant Island and the fourth time's the charm.
 
The Endurance sinks. Plans form, change, re-form, change again, get discarded, get reinstated and re-form after changing. Hoosh is the only constant.
 
Sir Ernest Shackleton returns to Antarctica, this time in the Weddell Sea, where the two preceding voyages got stuck. Guess what happens. Go on, guess.
 
Present day geologists offer their perspectives on the Antarctic Peninsula and I record lots of the bow pushing through loose pack because it's mesmerising.
 
The Ross Ice Barrier claims its final victim of the Heroic Age as Joyce, Richards and Wild struggle to get the depot party back to safety, then McMurdo Sound takes two more lives when a gamble on the weather goes against Mackintosh and Hayward.
 
Shackleton's depot laying party head to the Ross Sea and fight to get food and fuel to the foot of the Beardmore. Part one of a two parter recounting one of the most harrowing chapters to arise in the heroic era.
 
Hubert Wilkins makes his first appearance in the Ice Coffee narrative, albeit as a supporting character in someone else's nightmare in the Arctic, and I give you the good oil on sticking to tablets and behavioural responses to motion mediated nausea. The first episode recorded in Antarctica. Muy excitamento. Many spanglish.…
 
I've got a few tidbits left to add about the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and Mawson will be back in the narrative before you know it, but this ties up some loose ends and resolves the cliff hanger from the end of episode 050.
 
The Cape Denison denizens get their science on and prepare for the spring sledging carnival. The brown stuff gets closer to the whizzy-bladey thing.
 
I've been offered work in Antarctica and urgently need to renew some certs and get my teeth fixed and get a seafarer's medical and plane tickets and some coffee. If you've paid all your bills and put some money aside for a rainy day and donated to some charities and had your fill of the caviar and lobster, please consider flicking a few bucks m ...…
 
Prussian Army lieutenant Wilhelm Filchner led Germany's second expedition in the early 20th century. While the government stayed largely hands off the expedition committee put their oar in enough to see der Deutschland sail under a syphilitic commander whose antics placed everyone's lives in danger and gave us a really good example of the sort ...…
 
In April 2017 I reprised my take on William Speirs Bruce's role in our present day understanding of Antarctica at the Spotted Mallard. The audience were teh awesomes so I let them eat cake.
 
Dogs make all the difference in getting to the South Pole and back. With Amundsen's triumph, no-one would ever bother going to the Pole agai... Hey. Wait. Why are people still heading overland to the pole? Have they not heard of aircraft? Do they not heed the reports that the pole is cold and that the view is boring? Turns out being first at th ...…
 
Roald Amundsen returns to the narrative and takes pole position, showing the world what you can achieve if you don't give a stuff about science or people.
 
What's this? Three episodes in quick succession? Blame the hosting service download counter. I'm now obsessed with topping last month's total downloads. This was easy when I only had two and a dog listening but now I have to release more episodes to scratch that itch. Expect shorter and shorter episodes until I'm editing single words and releas ...…
 
Japan comes in out of the cold and heads back out into the cold again. Nobu Shirase - an explorer of honour and determination, now available in ship form.
 
Pemmican and sledging biscuit have received several mentions in the series and it's high time I let you in on what I'm on about.
 
The Eastern Party make their dogged way back to Cape Evans while Atkinson led teams onto the barrier to look for evidence of the pole party. The Terra Nova arrives and the BAE heads home.
 
Scott's 3IC, Lt. Victor Campbell, fares poorly on every front except the important one. Little came of the BAE's Eastern Party's efforts in terms of geology, geography, biology, but everyone survived the challenging circumstances that British decorum and crook weather placed them in. Oops. Spoilers. Don't read this until you've listened to epis ...…
 
Dammit - it happened again. This story always ends the same way. All of the driving forces behind Scott's polar ambition push him to his death. Poor weather, broken tractors, crap ponies, leaky fuel cans, crevasse fields - lots of things contributed to the tragedy in the physical sense but the expectations placed on Captain Robert Falcon Scott ...…
 
Scott leads his team south while Amundsen and Mawson keep his clockwork wound up tight. Stormy seas, pack ice and a four way split in the transport preparations frustrate efforts to meld scientific, geographic and historical goals.
 
I'm sick of 2016. A friend just died for stupid reasons and my extended family and many friends are facing life in the USA under president Donald Trump and his cabinet of elite racists. I really have not been in the mood to read about noble suffering under the Victorian model of manliness and my notes about Scott's death on his return from the ...…
 
A dark clockwork comprising duty, ambition and hurt pride winds up Captain Scott and sets him on his path back to Antarctica.
 
At the start of the twentieth century whaling in the Southern Ocean was on the uptick. The players and mechanisms in play held considerable sway in geographic outcomes, with claims and counter claims taking on a new urgency once the parties operating in the south had some oil in the game.
 
With just seven minutes up my data storage sleeve and some expeditions featuring weird relationships between officers and men in the offing, this seems an opportune time to map the boundary between the commissioned and the other ranks in the Victorian era and its immediate aftermath.
 
Charcot leads his second Antarctic expedition aboard a new ship with a new engine. What could possibly go wrong? More groundings, more whimsy and more coastline explored. Well done those Frenchmen.
 
Ernest Shackleton heads 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 K ...…
 
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 o ...…
 
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. Pro ...…
 
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, ...…
 
William Spiers 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 and discovered large numbers of Antarctic marine species but what I like most about the Sco ...…
 
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 ...…
 
Germans winter in fast pack ice, make some geographic discoveries, fly, sledge, and science as much as they can, but it's the diving that sets the voyage of the Gauss apart, in my eyes. Willy Heinrich - die Achtung!
 
Carsten Borchgrevink adds to his track record as a git and gets on everyone's nerves in the first winter spent ashore in Antarctica.
 
British pride is a'stirring and Germany hankers for some long, hard sciencing but it's the Belgians out in front, showing everyone how it's done if getting trapped in the pack and going mad is the goal. Some notes about navigation notes presage some future episodes about spurious claims on fruitless firsts but the real appeal of episode 023 is ...…
 
More Norwegians head south seeking whales. A kerfuffleover who's on first marks the start of the Heroic Age.In 2005 I recorded an interview with Rob Robbins, head of the USAPdiving programme. This was slated for a New Zealand radioprogramme that never came about, itself a rip off of RRR's "RadioMarinara" in Australia, and was captured using a b ...…
 
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