“Wakey, Wakey, Wakey – eggs and bakey” came the announcement over the intercom from Expedition Leader Jumper. It was soon followed by a “Bronco 5” call to be on the top deck in five minutes. Through the bitter cold and gloom of the morning, we were greeted by a huge tabular iceberg. This iceberg, about a square kilometer in size, was another stark reminder that climate change is real. I was in awe of the size and beauty of the berg, but sad it was no longer attached to the continent where it belonged.
Because of the danger of becoming stuck by rapidly moving ice, plans to hide at Brown Bluff were abandoned. Instead, for the first time ever on the 2041 expeditions, the teams landed on spinning sheet of floating ice. This was my favorite part of the expedition. Our island of ice moved up and down as we carefully avoided coming too close to the edge.
Later, sixty three team members participated in the traditional “Antarctic Polar Plunge.” As you can imagine, this was a quick jump into the freezing Antarctic waters. For being crazy enough to leave a perfectly good ship and jump into the -2o C ocean, we were awarded a certificate and the title of “Polar Freaks” was added to our tossle caps. Separate blog (and video) about my polar plunge coming soon.
During the afternoon and evening presentations, David Hone and Susan Lower of Royal Dutch Shell, challenged us to think more deeply about energy choices and to learn more about biofuels.
It has become clear to me there isn’t a single solution to satisfy the world demands. Coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear are the current energy sources killing our planet. A combination of conservation and efficiency along with a high renewables energy mix of biomass, geothermal, hydropower wind and solar will be necessary for our future energy needs. Maybe there are other sources of energy yet to be discovered? Maybe this should be my mission in life?