Thank you for following our journey. We will see you soon. “All’s well.”
January 18, 2005 | 16:52
Once again we find ourselves experiencing the nauseating rolls of the Drake Passage as we sail north toward Cape Horn and ultimately Ushuaia. The students are now well equipped with their sea sickness medications to handle the two and a half day journey as we sail away from that magical place Antarctica.
It has been announced that the Horn has just been sighted! Only about 90 miles to go!
As I reflect on the past week in Antarctica I find that there are more memories and insights than I could possibly mention in this brief missive, much less describe. Suffice it to say that with almost 24 hours of daylight each day we took full advantage to explore and to learn more about Antarctica.
My experiences and memories include: the first lifeboat drill (where I got lost), an Eckerd College student winning the prize for being the first to spot an iceberg, learning to operate the ship’s high performance toilet and shower system, the many informative lectures by the experts on the M/S Andrea’s staff, learning the Antarctic code of conduct, our first zodiac ride and landing on the continent, the trips to several Antarctic research stations, the weather, the seas, and the massive icebergs of all types.
I shall also remember and be in awe of the extraordinary plant and animal life in this frozen desert. There were countless numbers of penguins (and other bird life), whales, and seals that greeted us at every stop. We were also able to experience the joy of climbing several of the hills along the coast for the stunning views of monstrous glaciers as well as to enjoy sliding down the snow fields. But, as is often the case, the most special part of a journey includes the people with whom you share it. The M/S Andrea staff could not have been better: they treated us like royalty.
All of the above will stay with me forever, but the most cherished part of this part of this journey for me will be the Eckerd College Leadership Team that joined with me in this “idea” to go to Antarctica. Our goal was to study and experience first hand the leadership and environmental challenges faced by the early Antarctic explorers (focusing on Shackleton). This we did, but these students and their business colleagues accomplished so much more. Acting as a team, they took full advantage of all that Antarctica had to offer, as well as to make time for their contributions to the Eckerd College Web page that was cataloging our expedition.
Finally, I want to offer a very special thanks to Chris Hildreth for capturing our expedition on film and for being the catalyst in always encouraging the team to do more. His photographic record of this Winter Term in Antarctica has been a very special gift to us all.
We are now near the Beagle Channel and our thoughts turn to home and away from Antarctica. Thank you for following our journey. We will see you soon. “All’s well.”
Leadership & Team Building in ANTARCTICA
January 11, 2005 | 09:01
Aboard the M/S Andrea in the South Atlantic
Hello from the Drake Passage: the roughest seas in the world. We departed Ushuaia, Argentina, yesterday afternoon and are currently half way to Antarctica. Overnight the winds accelerated and we are facing some rough seas; indeed, even as I type this letter, the computer keyboard is sliding all over the table. The rough seas have produced some entertainment; for example, at every meal plates, drinks, and silverware slide off the tables into some unfortunate person's lap. The downside to the rough seas is that everyone has been reaching for their Dramamine, wrist bands, and/or “the patch” to combat seasickness.
Yesterday, prior to leaving Ushuaia, the entire team met for 2.5 hours to receive individual feedback on their personality and problem solving surveys. We also discussed what these indicate regarding our teamwork together on this expedition. The survey results suggest that we have a very diverse team as well as a very talented team. I've been very impressed by their involvement and activity level on all facets of our expedition.
Tomorrow, late afternoon, we should have Antarctica in sight. The students are really excited about seeing this place as well as stepping onto the continent of Antarctica. I share their excitement, especially since we have all now been traveling for several days: 36 hours of flying as well as 2 days crossing the Drake Passage.
The academic portion of this class is to experience firsthand the challenges faced by Sir Earnest Shackleton and to discuss the leadership lessons to be learned from his extraordinary adventure. Already being in the rough seas of the Drake Passage has us wondering how he and his men could have survived. It is very difficult to imagine how he was able to sail from Elephant Island to The South Georgia -- 800 miles -- and survive.
Today, while on board ship, we had two lectures from experts: one was about the geography of the area and another about bird life in the Antarctic region. At 5 pm this evening we will have another expert lecture on Krill among other things.
There have only been two subtle challenges to us so far: one is to avoid plates, silverware, and glasses flying off the tables at mealtime during the rough seas; another challenge has been to walk on this ship. We really do look like “drunken sailors” trying to walk on this rolling surface.
Tomorrow we may finally see Antarctica, but that will depend on the weather.
In the words of Shackleton “All is well.”