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Antarctic Volume 21, Nos. 3 & 4. Published 2003

  • Largest NZ Field Camp
  • Whaling Ships in Antarctica
  • Deep Sea Fishing Concerns
  • Australia catches poachers
  • BAS Wins Award
  • Japanese Icebreaker - Shirase
  • Physical Challenges
  • Twin Otter Crash - Rothera
  • ANDRILL Secures Funding
  • Saving the Whales
  • Artists and Writers Programme
  • Shackleton's Hut Listed
  • Korean Scientist Dies
  • Thurston Island GraveThe Paper Chase
  • Heated Field Store
  • Don't Destroy this Envelope
  • Helicopter Crash - South Pole Flight
  • Scott's Fourth Union Flag
  • "Antartican" Researcher
  • Argentina rejects poaching control
  • New Society President
  • Harry McNish
  • Antarctic DC 3
  • South Pole Station
  • Difficult Year for BAS
  • Route to the Pole
  • Falklands Inquest
  • Antarctic Snow Cruiser
  • Giant Iceberg
  • Book Review - Antarctica: An Encyclopedia
  • Memorial Unveiled
  • Book Review - Vodka on Ice
  • Stranded Australian Pilot
  • Tribute - George A Llano
  • Private Expeditions - Letter to the Editor
  • Tribute - Mario Zucchelli
  • Stranded Australian Pilot
  • Tribute - Lady Eleanor Fuchs
  • Winter Medivac

    Full Stories available here
    Total Eclipse in Antarctica
    Umbraphiles (eclipse chasers) from all over the world converged on Antarctica by ship and by plane to see the first total eclipse ever observed on the continent. For an hour the moon's shadow crossed East Antarctica in a broad arc 500 km wide and about 5000 km long from Wilkes Land to Dronning Maud Land.
    Massive Solar Storm
    The Earth was bombarded by charged particles from a series of huge solar eruptions at the end of October and beginning of November 2003. The first flare on 28 October and its associated plasma eruptions into space, was the largest experienced by Earth in 30 years, and knocked out two Japanese satellites, affecting telecommunications, air transport and power grids across the world.
    Largest NZ Field Camp
    After two years of planning, Ant-arctica New Zealand has established a large field camp at Cape Hallett over 670 kms from Scott Base as part of The Latitudinal Gradient Project. This is the first of five camps to be located along the Victoria Land coast.
    Deep Sea Fishing Concerns Aired at Conference
    Chief Scientist John Annala of the NZ Fisheries Ministry said at the Deep Sea Fishing Conference held in Queenstown New Zealand during December 2003, and attended by 240 international fishery experts, that the impact of deepwater fishing on both the target fish species and the wider marine environment had to be better managed. Main target species are the Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish, which are traded under the names Antarctic cod, Chilean sea bass and Mero. d.
    BAS Wins Award
    The British Antarctic Survey was presented with a national "Green Apple" Gold environmental award at The House of Commons, 6 Novem-ber 2003, for the successful removal of an old waste dump from Antarc-tica. The Green Organisation, which is dedicated to promoting the posi-tive side of environmental endeav-ours, issues the "Green Apple Awards", for examples of best prac-tice.
    Physical Challenges
    The 2002/03 season held the kind of physical challenges only the Antarctic can pose ã most notably the formation of thick sea ice in McMurdo Sound ãsays Chris Mace, chairman of Antarctica New Zealand in the organisation's annual report.
    ANDRILL Project Secures International Funding
    After securing international fund-ing of NZ$40 million, a multinational Antarctic scientific drilling project (ANDRILL), led by New Zealanders, is all set to go.
    Artists and Writers Programme
    By the end of the season, three unu-sual individuals will have travelled south to "experience" Antarctica un-der Antarctica New Zealand's Artists to Antarctica Programme (in collabo-ration with Creative New Zealand), and will incorporate their personal impressions into future creations.
    South Korean Scientist Dies in Boating Mishap
    Two separate boat-capsizes in rough water near the South Korean Sejong Station on King George Island, 7 December 2003, resulted in eight people having to swim to shore in the freezing waters, one of them dying in the process.
    Work Begins on Heated Field Store
    Work will commence this season on Scott Base's new heated field store. The building will house both field and base supplies, with preparation areas for science programmes, cargo processing and general storage.
    Britons in Helicopter Crash after flying to South Pole
    British woman Jennifer Murray, who in 1997 had already become the first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter, and did a second cir-cumnavigation in 2000, this time without an autopilot, is now trying to be the first person to fly over both the South and North Poles.
    Antarctican Researcher in New Zealand
    A Fulbright Fellow at Canterbury University, Christchurch is spending a year at Gateway Antarctica writing a book about New Zealand's relation-ship with Antarctic exploration and how it has influenced life in Lyttelton and Christchurch.
    Research Scholarships Awarded
    Icebreaker Repairs
    The US research/icebreaker, Nathaniel B Palmer, limped back to Lyttelton from Antarctica early December almost a month before schedule after developing engine trouble. It had been working m the Ross Sea, studying the relationship between UV levels and algae when it lost power in two of its four engines After spending four days at a standstill, the ship abandoned its scientific programme and returned to Lyttelton for repairs. It returned to Antarctica to resume its scientific programme in mid-December.
    New Society President
    Malcolm Macfarlane was elected as the new President of the New Zealand Antarctic Society at the society¹s Annual General Meeting in November 2003. Margaret Bradshaw had previously held the post for 10 years
    Damaged Aircraft
    In early December, the nose-ski of a New York National Guard LC-130 (Hercules) collapsed as it was preparing for take-off from a field camp in the Ford Range, Marie Byrd Land. The six crew and five passengers were unhurt. Spare parts had to be rushed from Christchurch for the repair of the plane on the remote snowfield.
    Difficult Year for BAS
    The British Antarctic Survey¹s Annual Report for 2001-2002 emphasised that the season had been a difficult one, and that despite the adversity, the programme had responded well. On 29 September 2001 the Bonner Laboratory at Rothera was totally destroyed by fire (see Antarctic Vol 19, No 2, p. 117). Wintering staff used a snow-blowing machine and a small fire engine in an attempt to dowse the flames, but the foul weather forced them to withdraw.
    Preservation Work Continues on Antarctic DC3
    Restoration work continues by a select group of volunteers from the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society on the LC47H aircraft preserved in Christchurch, New Zealand. A hanger was completed over the plane in 2001, finally sealing out the rain and wind and ensuring that work and money invested in the project will now return real dividends and not be subject to vandals and harsh weather.
    Falkiands Inquest for British Scientist
    The inquest of British Antarctic Scientist Kirsty Brown, who was killed during a Leopard seal attack at Rothera in July 2003, took place in the Falkland Islands during November. A verdict of accidental death caused by drowning and Leopard seal attack was recorded. Kirsty had been snorkelling with another scientist in South Cove when she was pulled under the water by the seal. A boat was launched and the seal was seen with Kirsty's head in its mouth, apparently playing.
    Giant Iceberg Breaks in Two
    The massive BiSA iceberg, which has blocked part of the entrance to McMurdo Sound for three years, causing inconvenience to both humans and penguins, has at last begun to break up. In October 2003, following a major storm, satellite photos showed a widening jagged crack developing across the elongate, 160 km long tabular iceberg, and Iceberg B15J, the ninth large fragment of the original BiS iceberg, was spawned.
    Memorial Unveiled at Cardiff
    HRH the Princess Royal, Patron of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, unveiled the Antarctic 100¹ Memorial at Cardiff on Friday 6 June close to the dock from which the Terra Nova set sail on her voyage to Antarctica exactly 93 years before. The Captain Scott Society, established in 1982 to perpetuate the memory of Captain Scott and his many connections with Cardiff, commissioned the memorial to celebrate the centenary of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration.
    Australian Pilot Stranded after Attempted Crossing
    Australian pilot Jon Johanson became stranded at McMurdo when head winds forced him to turn back on an attempt to cross Antarctica and fly to South Amercia.
    Popular Season for Private Expeditions
    Winter Medivac
    Two Kenn Borek Air Twin Otters successfully flew out a Raytheon Polar Services worker from South Pole Station in late September 2003.
    Whaling Ships head for Antarctica
    Five Japanese whaling ships left the southern port of Shimonoseki 7 November 2003 to catch an estimated 410 Minke whales as part of this year¹s Japanese Antarctic science programme. The flotilla included the 7,638-ton Nisshinmaru mother ship and will be at sea until April 2004.
    Australians Capture Toothfish Poachers
    The Australian Customs boat Southern Supporter interrupted the Viarsa illegally fishing for Patagonian toothfish in Australia¹s marine economic zone near Heard and McDonald Islands on 7 August 2003. When the fishing vessel refused to stop, the Southern Supporter gave chase for 6800 km. The Uruguayan flagged Viarsa was captured south of Cape Town after a 21 day chase across the Southern Ocean.
    Japanese Icebreaker makes 21st Antarctic Trip
    Twin Otter Crash at Rothera
    A British Antarctic Survey (BAS) De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft, registered in the Falkland Islands, was damaged when it landed at Rothera Research Station on Friday 7 November 2003. No-one was injured.
    Saving the Whales
    The New Scientist, 21 June 2003, ran an editorial that posed the question "Is the International Whaling commission a spent force?"It rather looked like it. New Scientist pointed out that after almost two decades of policing an increasingly fragile moratorium on whaling, the Commission had redefined itself as an organisation dedicated to conserving whales rather than regulating the whaling industry.
    Shackleton's Hut Listed as Endangered Site
    Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds has been designated one of the Earth¹s 100 most endangered sites. The remote wooden hut was included in the 2004 World Monument Fund¹s Watch list released in New York 25 September 2003.
    Book - The Paper Chase
    By Penny Carey Wells, State Library of Tasmania
    Thurston Island Graves
    The Chicago Tribune (25 April 2003) reports that the sister of a man killed in Antarctica 57 years ago and now buried in ice is asking for the body to be retrieved and brought home to the US. In 1946, during Operation Highjump, three navy airmen were killed when their Martin Mariner PBM-5 seaplane George One crashed into Thurston Island after take-off from USS Pine Island. The six surviving airmen buried their dead comrades, then waited 13 days for rescue.
    'Don¹t Destroy this Envelope'
    One of my favourite Polar covers is from my Discovery collection. At first it looks like a messy envelope but it tells an interesting story and is one of the most important items of Australian Polar Philately.
    Scott's Fourth Union Flag A New Historical Conundrum
    It is seldom remembered that Queen Alexandra presented Scott with a second Union Flag in 1910, before he left London to join the Terra Nova in South Africa. The first, according to the London Daily Telegraph on 21 April, had been presented in March ³to be placed on the farthest point south reached by the expedition, if possible on the Pole itself.²
    Argentina Rejects Poaching Control in Antarctic Waters
    Argentina and Russia have both refused to sign an agreement between 24 countries to fight poaching in Antarctic waters. The document, an Australian proposal, was discussed during the last meeting of the Convention on the Conservation of Living Antarctic Marine Resources (CCAMLR) that was held in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, in September 2003.
    Harry McNish
    Harry McNish was the carpenter aboard Sir Ernest Shackleton¹s ship Endurance during the 1914-1916 abortive Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Highly respected for his craftsmanship and maritime skills, Harry McNish was chosen by Shackleton to be one of six members of the crew who sailed the whaleboat James Caird on the epic journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia during April 1916.
    South Pole Station
    As the building of the new U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station continues towards its completion date of 2007, it rests on ³the bones² of three earlier structures.
    South Pole Station - Highway to the Pole
    The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) will continue to evaluate its proposed overland traverse route to the South Pole this coming season. Last year, during the first season of a planned three season Proof of Concept, the traversing team negotiated a route through a five km wide major shear zone near Minna Bluff, blasting open crevasse bridges and back filling them with snow (see Antarctic Vol. 20, no 3 & 4, p. 38).
    Strong Winds Cancells Tans Polar Flight
    Polly Vacher, who had been planning to fly across Antarctica as part of her round-the-world solo flight for charity, cancelled the Antarctic leg of her flight when strong winds forced her to return to Rothera Station.
    The Antarctic Snow Cruiser - a Massive Failure
    When Thomas C Poulter rescued Admiral Byrd from the South Pole during a 1934 expedition, he decided that what Antarctica needed was a giant vehicle that could roll across crevasses.
    Auatralian News
    Various stories.
    BOOK REVIEW-Antarctica: An Encyclopedia from Abbott Ice Shelf to Zooplankton
    Although published by David Bateman this encyclopedia on Antarctica was produced by Natural History New Zealand. It includes information on fourteen major topics and contains 250 photographs. Topics are diverse, from the laws and politics that surround Antarctica to all aspects of its natural environment, including its geology, glaciers and life on land, ice and in the ocean.
    BOOK REVIEW-Vodka On Ice: A Year with the Russians in Antarctica
    This book proved to be a pleasure to read but not easy to put into any category. History it certainly is. A tale of adventure? Yes. A political statement? it could be. Perhaps it shines as an observation of the Russian approach to the Antarctic and to its attitude to life itself.
    TRIBUTE - George Albert Liano 1910 ‹2003
    Dr George A Llano, biologist, lichenologist and program manager for Biological and Medical Sciences for the US National Science Foundation¹s office of Polar Programs from 1960-1977, died aboard the Antarctic tour ship Akademic loffe on 9 February 2003 at the age of 93.
    TRIBUTE - Mario Zucchelli 13 July 1944 - 24 October 2003
    Mario Zucchelli, President of Italy¹s National Programme of Antarctic Research, will always be remembered by his Antarctic colleagues as a ³real leader², whose strong personality and dedication to Antarctic research served to inspire his Italian coworkers.
    TRIBUTE - Lady Eleanor Fuchs
    It was quite by chance that Eleanor, Lady Fuchs, widow of Sir Vivian Fuchs, became involved in Antarctic affairs.

    In early 1955, five years after Dr Fuchs conceived his plan to complete Shackleton¹s dream of a Trans-Antarctic crossing, the Commonwealth TransAntarctic Expedition was formed. An office was set up at 64 Victoria Street, London and Rear Admiral Parry was appointed Secretary.

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