Imagine a place on earth where there has never been war; where countries around the globe cooperate and collaborate; where politics, rulers and militaries have no place; where nuclear activity and waste is prohibited; where nations are united by a common goal; where they have an open door policy without territorial claims, where peace and science reign … amazingly, it exists.
The most famous explorer of all when it comes to Antarctica was Sir Ernest Shackleton. This Irish-Brit, who went on four Antarctic expeditions, was the first to go the furthest south and climb the active volcano Mount Erebus. His third voyage resulted in a shipwreck and a runaway boat that the crews largely and miraculously survived. This Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) is one of the greatest maritime survival stories in history and made Shackleton’s leadership legendary.
Our southernmost continent is aptly named for being opposite (“ant”) of the Arctic Circle. There you must take care as Antarctica leaves you high and dry, literally. It is the highest, driest, windiest, iciest and coldest continent on earth – a land of superlatives and extremes. This polar desert is also the least populated and most endangered continent.
“We’re going to have to rescue another ship,” said our expedition leader in the midst of the Antarctic Sea. This was far more adventure than we expected and thankfully, we lived to tell about it.