Category: Expedition

 

ReQuest2021 Podcast Ep.31

EPISODE 31 – Sunday 1st May 2022 – ANTARCTIC ISOLATION – PART 1

This episode is entitled ANTARCTIC ISOLATION – PART 1 and covers the first few days visiting the Antarctic Peninsula. It includes: Alan’s Covid Test Results, Our First Iceberg and Penguin Island.

There is also the REQUEST interview with our fellow passenger – Mark Ashcroft – from Merseyside in the UK, who was on White Watch with Genevieve, Darcey and I.

After the main podcast there is also some bonus content of our Shackleton Scouts’ Own Ceremony and Investiture Ceremony.

00:00 Theme Music – “Antarctica”

00:45 Welcome Message

01:50 Alan’s Covid Lateral Flow Test Result

02:36 Alan’s Covid PCR Test Result

03:38 Alan – In Library – Post Covid Test Results

05:05 Alan – In Cabin One – Post Covid Test Results

06:57 First Time On Deck In Antarctica

29:15 Our First Iceberg In Antarctica

31:05 Back To Cabin One

31:46 Sound Of The Anchor Chain from Cabin One & Ship’s Alarm

32:38 Penguin Island – Bow Of Europa 5th January 2022

34:46 Sound Of Penguins – Penguin Island

35:38 Commentary – Penguin Island

39:38 Alan & Axel – Chat With Eric The Europa Captain & More Commentary

43:55 Alan & Axel – Dancing To Keep Warm

45:42 Commentary – Zodiak’s Returning From Penguin Island

46:22 Helen – Introduction To Shackleton Scouts’ Own Ceremony

46:52 Overview Of Bonus Material

47:25 Reflection On 5th January 2022

48:00 REQUEST interview with Mark Ashcroft

55:45 Closing Message

56:29 Theme Music – “Antarctica”

57:15 Introduction To Bonus Material

57:38 Bonus Content – Shackleton Scouts’ Own Ceremony on board Europa

1:19:06 Bonus Content – Investiture Ceremony on board Europa

1:24:03 END

ReQuest2021 Podcast Ep.30

EPISODE 30 – Friday 1st April 2022 – DRAKE OUT

This episode is entitled DRAKE OUT and covers our five days sailing across the infamous Drake Passage between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. It includes among other things: Sam discussing his personal project which involved deploying Argo Floats in the Drake; Alex chilling out while strumming his guitar; spotting an Albatross; some recordings of one of our sail training theory sessions and Darcey’s knitting lessons!

There is also the REQUEST interview with our fellow passenger – Aurelie Bringer – a French woman from near Marseille in the South of France who was on White Watch with Genevieve, Darcey and I.

00:00 Theme Music – “Antarctica”

00:45 Cabin port hole sound

01:07 Welcome Message

02:23 Sam – discussing Argo Float project

04:20 Ship creaking / Alex chilling out while strumming his guitar in the ship’s library

06:30 Waves in the Drake / George warming his hands

07:21 Midnight on 2nd January – Just finishing watch (Wind noise in background!)

07:58 Alan on deck – White Watch – 3rd January

12:43 Alan – update – no visit to Elephant Island.

13:16 Alan relieving no-one on watch / Chatting to Paul / Albatross flying by!

19:42 3.30am 4th January 2022 – Waking up for 4am watch / Alan on lookout

21:50 Ship creaking in the early hours

22:36 Sail training with Benthe – Sails

25:22 Sail training with Benthe – Lines

33:57 Alex hoovering his kilt

35:00 Team chatting in the deck house / Knitting lessons from Darcey

37:32 REQUEST interview with Aurelie (Take 1 – at the helm – interview abandoned)

41:43 REQUEST interview with Aurelie (Take 2 – recorded in better sound conditions)

53:40 Closing Message

54:15 Theme Music – “Antarctica”

54:46 END

JOIN-IN ANTARCTICA Session 1 – THE EXPEDITION

Here is the full recording of our JOIN-IN ANTARCTICA Session 1 – THE EXPEDITION – REQUEST2021 Project

Led by: Alan Noake #REQUEST2021

YOUTUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/0ft8ElqfgGc

PLEASE FEEL TO FORWARD AND SHARE FAR AND WIDE TO ANYONE YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED.

SOME USEFUL TIMINGS BELOW IN CASE YOU WANT TO USE SECTIONS AS A RESOURCE WITH YOUNG PEOPLE.

YOUTUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/0ft8ElqfgGc

TIMINGS:

1) Intro music and project overview slide. [UNTIL 6 mins 30 secs]

2) Brief welcome from Alan. [From 6 mins 30 secs UNTIL 7 mins 0 secs]

3) Slideshow of Alan’s ice and wildlife photos. [From 7 mins 0 secs UNTIL 13 mins 13 secs]

4) REQUEST2021 – Expedition Presentation. [From 13 mins 13 secs UNTIL 1 hour 5 mins 21 secs]

5) Interval – Repeat of Slideshow of Alan’s ice and wildlife photos. [From 1 hour 5 mins 21 secs UNTIL 1 hour 11 mins 37 secs]

5) REQUEST2021 – Project Presentation. [From 1 hour 11 mins 37 secs UNTIL 2 hour 11 mins 55 secs

NOTES:

1) Missing Harberton pictures added to the edit.

2) All videos replaced with original speed to improve quality.

3) Archive video of Quest leaving London removed for copyright reasons but can be watched on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8r5jtV4vNRM

PRESS RELEASE – KENT SCOUTS COMPLETE SUCCESSFUL ANTARCTIC VOYAGE DURING JANUARY 2022

  • After 20 days at sea the ten strong team of Kent Scouts make their way back up the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia, Argentina.
  • The team have twice crossed the infamous Drake Passage and have been exploring the waters and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula during January 2022.
  • All members of the team have played an active part in sailing the Bark Europa tall ship – taking the helm, helping set sails, climbing rigging and doing lookout duty.

Alan Noake REQUEST2021 Project leader, said:

“We have successfully achieved all our objectives for the voyage including taking up a last-minute opportunity to visit Port Lockroy which was established by Scout Marr during Operation Tabarin in World War Two. There is just some work to do on our other project objectives now upon our return the UK – outreach to young people, developing the legacy fund and taking the commemorative plaque to Scotland.”

The ReQuest2021 project is a wider programme of activity centred around the expedition to Antarctica to commemorate the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922. 100 years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Quest sailed to Antarctica a ten strong team of Scouts and leaders were recreating the original ethos of the expedition by undertaking their own voyage to the frozen south. The ten participants have been undertaking research projects whilst in Antarctica on issues such as climate change, energy, exploration, education, health and the environment. Findings will be presented in a range of engaging formats including photography, soundscapes, reports, artwork and interactive forums.

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, sent the team off on their expedition with these encouraging words:

“You are truly following in the footsteps of many legends including the great Sir Ernest Shackleton who set off on his Quest expedition. You are also doing vital work in how we can protect the world around us, which is so important.”

The team are now enjoying a few days relaxation and reflection time in Buenos Aries before heading home to the UK.

The Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922 included two Scouts: James Marr and Norman Mooney. On 30th December 2021 the team of ten scouts and their leaders will follow in Marr and Mooney’s footsteps and depart from South America for Antarctica.

The project is based upon three key principles: –


1. PEACE – Young people will form relationships with each other, their communities, other

Scouts around the world, and their environment.

2. ENVIRONMENT – Young people are more concerned about nature than ever and want to protect our environment – one study found that 60% of young people are worried or extremely worried about climate change.

3. HERITAGE – A way for young people to connect with intrepid explorers from the past, through an innovative programme of events, and mark those who went before.

For more information, please contact alan.noake@kentscouts.org.uk 07525 633435 ENDS

Notes to Editor:

About the Project

  • For more information about the ReQuest2021 expedition and the research projects, please visit http://www.request2021.org.uk  
  • The ReQuest2021, Antarctic Research Project Team sailed on board Bark Europa tall ship from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula from 30th Dec 2021 to 20th January 2022.
  • Over the past four years the ten Scouts have undertaken fundraising activities including a rowing challenge, grand auction and online merchandise sales to raise £140,000 for the expedition.
  • A key sponsor of the Request expedition is the East and West Kent Freemasons which have the same core values of supporting young people www.eastkentfreemasons.org  and www.westkentmasons.org.uk  
  • Individual Projects: CLIMATE CHANGE (LUCY), PHYSIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT (GENEVIEVE), 3D ICEBERG SIMULATION (GEORGE), COLLABORATIVE ARTWORK (DARCEY), OCEAN CURRENTS (SAM), ANTARCTIC SOUNDSCAPE (ALAN), MOTION SICKNESS STUDY (CATHY), PLASTIC POLUTION (HELEN), ELECTRICITY GENERATION (MATT), GEOMAGNETICALLY INDUCED CURRENTS (ALEX)
  • Group Project: THE ANTARCTICA SCOUT KRILL project. Partnership with British Antarctic Survey to study and raise awareness of the importance of Antarctic krill to the Southern Ocean ecosystem.
  • EXPEDITION PARTICIPANT NAMES AND LOCATIONS THEY ARE FROM: –
    • Alan Noake, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District Kent
    • Cathy Mummery, Weald District, Kent
    • Matt Wood, Malling District, Kent
    • Helen Smith, Gravesham District, Kent
    • Lucy Morgan, Sevenoaks District, Kent
    • Genevieve Scullion, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District, Kent
    • George Stonor, Faversham District, Kent
    • Darcey Holmes, Thanet District, Kent
    • Sam Payne, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    • Alex Maciver, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

About Scouts:

   

  • All genders, races and backgrounds are welcome at Scouts. Every week, it gives almost half a million people aged 6-25 the skills they need for school, college, university, the job interview, the important speech, the tricky challenge and the big dreams: the skills they need for life.   
  • Scouts helps members gain these skills by encouraging them to ask the big questions and listen with wide open minds. It helps them to take a deep breath and speak up, think on their feet, ignore the butterflies and go for it. With Scouts, young people don’t give up – they get back up and try again, often with the support of the friends they’ve made there.   
  • Our volunteers contribute more than 50 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities.   

EXPEDITION BLOG

The aim is for this page to be updated daily while the team is on the expedition between 26th December 2021 and 25th January 2022.

NOTE: Due to very limited bandwidth in Antarctica these updates may prove to be very sporadic and sparse. But fear not there will be absolutely loads of high quality video and images available on the team’s return!

SUNDAY 26TH DECEMBER 2021

It has begun! The Boxing Day Departure from Heathrow T5 is the very first time the team has been together in full due to their geographical locations and the late team changes. Their flight leaves at 15:45 ✈️

Back row: George Stonor, Matt Wood, Sam Payne, Alex Maciver.
Front row: Darcey Holmes, Lucy Morgan, Alan Noake, Cathy Mummery, Genevieve Scullion, Helen Smith

MONDAY 27TH DECEMBER 2021

Lots of waiting around at airports. ✈️ Short hop to Madrid. Then long haul flight to Buenos Aries. Then after a one hour bus ride to the domestic airport another 3.5 hour flight to Ushuaia. No photos of Ushuaia, as we came straight to our hotel where we have to self isolate for 3 days. It is amazing to be here though and there was lots of excitement to see the snowy mountains and the Bark Europa moored opposite our hotel as we transferred from the airport.

Buenos Aries Domestic Airport

TUESDAY 28TH DECEMBER 2021

Quarantine time!

With less than 48 hours to go until the team set sail, they are all now in a hotel in Ushuaia quarantining. The biggest tease being that they can see the impressive Bark Europa from their windows, waiting to take them onwards on their journey!

Spirits are high, and the final PCR test is tomorrow that will set them on their way to their final destination.

The Bark Europa from the hotel Window
Shakleton with the Ushuaia Hills behind him
A festive welcome to Ushuaia
Matt practicing with his 360-degree camera while we were playing cards

WEDNESDAY 29TH DECEMBER 2021

Author: GENEVIEVE SCULLION

Editor’s Note: The team will be taking it in turns from here on to write the daily blog posts for you. In terms of managing expectations once we are under sail, we won’t be able to include a huge amount of content but we will aim to give you at least a flavour of each day.

Today we all agreed to meet for breakfast at 8:30 am, which will be around midday back home. It was nice to see a change in pastries for the continental breakfast as it gave us the opportunity to try new Argentinian treats. What stood out today was an Argentinian pastry which was like a cross between a cheese twist and a croissant: 10 out of 10 would definitely eat again. My particular favourite is the array of herbal teas, flavoured with tastes that only this wonderful country can provide. My plan is to take some to drink on Bark Europa to bring me some added comfort aboard.

After breakfast and the endless telling of jokes and playing silly games we went back to our room to get ready for our FINAL PCR test, the final hurdle to jump over before we bord the Bark Europa. Our test time was 1 pm (or 4 pm back home). As we wandered through the street of Ushuaia to the other hotel where the tests were taking place, you could only admire the rugged body of the landscape that shadows us and the buildings that stand upon it like colourful flowers with their unique shape and vivid colours. The PCR tests were taken at the top floor of the other hotel. This provided us with a panoramic view of the whole city. This only made the vision clearer. The views from the top of the hotel were spectacular. You could see from the mountain ranges at the top to the bay below where Bark Europa sat waiting. The entire group got their PCR test done very quickly which was great but a little bit of a shame as we had to say goodbye to those amazing views and return to our quarantine back in our hotel.

Around 2 pm we all went for lunch. The menu at the Albatross hotel is quite extensive and I know we are only here for a few days but even with 10 of us I think we will struggle to eat through it all, but it’s a challenge we would all happily take on as all the food we have had so far has been amazing. Over the meal, we went around the table and each stated what we are looking forward to and what is worrying us. I think that all gave us big relief that none of us were alone in our thoughts and concerns about the trip and were all reassured for the adventure we were about to embark on.

Some of the group thought to take advantage of the hotel facility and try the sauna before we plunge headfirst into the cold. These past few days of quarantining in the hotel as a group have given us the opportunity to bond and really get to know each other which we were sadly stripped of the opportunity, up to now, because of Covid.

As it is the last night in the hotel and tomorrow, we will hopefully be on the Bark Europa we have decided to order and try some Columbian food as a takeaway which will no doubt be another interesting new experience.

SOUND FILE – TEAM CHAT OVER A MEAL THE DAY BEFORE THE VOYAGE

THURSDAY 30th DECEMBER 2021

Author: LUCY MORGAN

Today we were up early and checked out of our rooms before hanging around and playing some games to pass the time.

At 3 pm we went and met the other 29 fellow passengers that would be joining us on our voyage.

All of our LFTs came back negative, green lighting the whole team to be able to board the ship! Then at 5 pm we finally boarded our home for the next few weeks, the stunning Bark Europa.

As a comparison, the Bark Europa vs. a cruise ship is a small but beautiful vessel. Once on board we were given cosy cabins and a meatball dinner. All be a briefing which included a tour, a safety overview, and an outlook on the forecast (which we are told will not be too rough).

And we are off!

SATURDAY 1ST JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

Interim Update

Happy New Year folks! 

Here are a few teaser photos of some of the real cool recent moments but in the meantime, I am not sure you all want to see photos of the little yellow sick buckets! Have just walked around all the team and although we are all feeling just a tad queasy we are all okay.

Daily updates will resume properly once the team feels up to writing things up. But in the meantime, no causes for concern. All passengers on board are going through the challenge together and supporting each other.

SATURDAY 1ST JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

ACTUAL UPDATE

Today we set off from Ushuaia at 9am upon the Bark Europa. Many of the team have had great fun climbing the rigging already!

The people onboard have been allocated into 3 watches which span 24 hrs, as part of this the ReQuest team has been split across the watches & several cabins.


Highlight: Dolphins on the the starboard bow
Low point: Generally lots of sea sickness 


An amazing way to see in the new year!

SUNDAY 2ND JANUARY 2022

Author: SAM PAYNE

It has been a busy day for red watch with it also being windy, raining and plenty of rough seas this morn which required lots of sail handling and camaraderie between crew and the voyage crew.

We received the mandatory IAATO briefings that are given before landings.

At 4pm Argo launched as the seas were still. With the help of the main crew, we prepped Argo and launched from the main deck. My plan is to track the float on my return.

MONDAY 3RD JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

Sailing again in the am after motoring a bit. A period of close hauled at 6kts in a southerly 30kts heading ESE. Wind shift to westerly expected soon, though we’ve been waiting for a day and a half for that.

Square sails now down and sail motoring south else we would keep going east and miss Antarctica. We crossed the Antarctic convergence about 100miles N of where it is supposed to be, sea temp dropped from 5.5 to 1.9degC.

Had IAATO briefing and started cleaning all kit velcro and pockets for landings on Antarctica.

Saw a wandering Albatross which have a wingspan of up to 3.5m. Salmon for dinner was nice, and leftover chilli at 3am was welcomed.

First Antarctic land sighting should be tomorrow!

WEDNESDAY 5TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

Today George Stoner was the first person to spot land (King George Island) after the Drake Passage!

This morning we saw our first iceberg, and arrived at penguin island for our first landing, and walked up and around the crater of a volcano. 

Saw loads of wildlife including:

  • Humpback Whale
  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Seals
  • Southern Elephant Seal

Weather is a complete change to the Drake Passage, now calm, sunny and visibility is good (between 10-20km) and no more seasickness. 

Today was the day we held a Scouts Own for Shackleton to commemorate 100 years since his death and are now having a celebratory lemonade.

THURSDAY 6TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALEX MACIVER

We sailed to Deception Island today which is a volcanic island. At first we landed in “Telefon Bay” and saw boiled (by the geothermal hot water) Seaweed and Krill on the shore; a few members also noticed a Weddell seal.

We then explored in and around Telefon Bay, splitting into two groups: one mainly focused on walking all the routes and the other taking its time and learning more about the land we were hiking on.

We climbed round Cross Hill observing the crater in the middle which turned out to be one of the points that used to have volcanic eruptions.

Later in the Evening we sailed down to the old whaling station still on Deception Island and explored that area and some folk looked around “Neptune’s Window” which had a remarkable view.

We left the Island now and on course for the next part of our journey…

Cathy Darcey and Helen at the bow, en-route from penguin island to deception island

FRIDAY 7TH JANUARY 2022

Author: GEORGE STONOR

The day started with anticipation to launch our Nansen net as part of our krill research project with the British Antarctic Survey. The tall net is suspended far below the water line where it collects krill and other small Antarctic fauna. For the net to work properly the Europa had to be stationary in the water and so we moored in a small icy cove. We worked as a team to assemble the net; the design is true to the original nets used in the 1940s for monitoring krill levels and so assembly involved lots of knots and many brass shackles.

When it came to launching the next we worked with crew members Enguerrand and Beth to use one of the yards (the horizontal beams on the mast) to create a crane for lowering and raising the net. “10, 20 30…50 and 55” called Enguerrand as he watched the makings on the rope identifying the net depth. We took note of the global positioning, weather conditions, drift speed and sea floor depth before re-hoisting the Nansen net. As it came out the sample collector was removed and then sorted and mixed with formaldehyde preservative by Gen.

Meanwhile, in the library some other members of the ReQuest team were busy assembling the microscope we had onboard to examine our samples. We didn’t catch much—a single krill—but each result we get is data for the BAS to use to help them to understand the prevenance of krill around the Antarctic Peninsula and Southern Ocean. We look forward to more attempt over the rest of the voyage.

After another great lunch of soup and freshly baked brioche, it was time to take one of the Zodiac RIBs (rubber inflatable boats) around an ‘iceberg graveyard’ between Trinity and Spert Islands. The shallow waters and tightening passage trap large icebergs on the rocks leaving them to melt away. We cruised between pieces of ice towering into the sky that ranged from brilliant whites through turquoise to deep blues. It was a great place to start my project: using photogrammetry to scan the icebergs and create 3D computer models. In one little space between two rocky headlands we listened to the waters crashing through the cracks and voids of melted space within the bergs whilst the Antarctic turns flew chirped from their nests overhead broken by loud cracks in the ice.

Back on the Europa we spent the late evening cruising between bergy bits to Cierva Cove where the Berguet Glacier rolls off the Antarctic mainland down to the sea. The Sun cast a golden light over the icy mountains that stretched far back and high into the clouds above. We finished the day with whisky chilled with lumps of glacial ice our guide Sarah and I pulled from the iceberg graveyard.

George (gathering data for his project) and Helen enjoying the icebergs from the zodiac

SATURDAY 8TH JANUARY 2022

Author: CATHY MUMMERY

Every day is better than the one before. Today we sailed through the Graham Passage and past the shipwreck of an 100 year old rusting whaling ship.

Then through the beautiful Wilhelmina channel full of icebergs and stunning views. We arrived at Orne Harbour and not only did we walk on mainland Antarctica for the first time, we also did our first polar plunge!!! None of us lasted more than a minute but we did all plunge … no paddling for any of us (air temp was 2.5 and water temp 0.1degC). Then to warm up we climbed up 100 meters to see some Chinstrap penguins.

And finally, after dinner, we arrived at Cuverville Island where we spent a wonderful hour amongst the Gentoo Penguins. 


Remember to watch Sam and Alex on Countryfile on BBC on the 9th of January.

Air temp 2.5 degC; water temp 0.1degC
L-R Helen, George, Lucy, Cathy, Darcey, Gen, Matt

SUNDAY 9TH JANUARY 2022

Author: HELEN SMITH

Very chilled day for us all which has been nice to relax. Darcey has been doing watercolours. Helen and Cathy have made a start on knitting their penguins. Everyone has been climbing the rigging and nets today to get better views of the ice sheet. 


No landing today as we are currently stuck in the ice but that’s part of the adventure!


Minimal wildlife but some seals on the icebergs which made a change as we have not seen many yet! 
The evening was fantastic!! The crew put on a BBQ with fresh meat and salad. Music was playing and there was some dancing, morale very high and we all had a fabulous time!

How many people can say they have had a BBQ whilst stuck in the ice?!

MONDAY 10TH JANUARY 2022

Author: LUCY MORGAN

This morning is the furthest south we have been so far (and we are the furthest south of any cruise ship currently in Antarctica)! After spending the night floating anchor-less in a sea of icebergs we awoke to a world of purple, grey and white. It was deadly silent and eerie like another planet. 


This morning’s activity included a zodiac cruise around the bay during which we got up close to seals lounging on the ice and some of us were able to step foot onto an iceberg. 


This afternoon we landed at Yalour Island to observe our first Adélie colony. We also observed the circle of life during an encounter with a skua and baby penguin. 


This evening was more krill fishing with the Nansen net followed by a sing-along with the onboard guitar. 

TUESDAY 11TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

A day of ice trekking and iceberg exploration with two trips out in the Zodiacs. The trek included climbing up to a memorial cairn to the Francais expedition and up close to more Gentoo penguins.

The second session was amongst some spectacular icebergs included spotting a Minke Whale, a crabeater seal and two rarer to spot leopard seals.

George also managed to photograph six icebergs for his 3D iceberg simulation project.

We finished the day sailing through the dramatic Lemaire Channel with towering mountains either side – incredible scenery!

Alan admiring a leopard seal

WEDNESDAY 12TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

We made it to Port Lockroy!

Visiting Port Lockroy base was always a REQUEST2021 project dream. At times it has been touch and go about whether it would be possible. The team were able to visit the museum, see the Gentoo penguin colony, get some great team photos and videos.

In the afternoon we trekked through deep snow up and around the Damoy Hut. That was also an interesting visit and laid out so that you could see the equipment, food and items from a bygone age. Both huts today are looked after by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

THURSDAY 13TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALEX MACIVER

Today is our last day not just setting foot on the continent but our last day in Antarctica!

We began with a Zodiac tour around Paradise Bay observing the glaciers glowing blue and looking at the path it carved down the mountain onto the water. The water was just like a mirror holding a crisp reflection of the mountains.

We then cruised in the Zodiacs back towards the Bark Europa when we spotted a nest of Blue-eyed Shags and their chicks pestering for food (kind of like us scouts). After a lunch of stuffing my face, we cruised towards our final landing in Antarctica… last time to catch that all too familiar aroma, given by a Gentoo colony, of penguin poo.

As we hopped out of the boats, we split into two groups: one that could endure the potent smell of the penguins and the other that wanted to spend the afternoon hiking up a mountain. I was in the second group and got to stare at one last truly awesome view containing the monolithic mountains, gorgeous glaciers and the Bark Europa however the most stunning part was the sounds; the sound of ice crashing down into the sea and the sound of the penguins going about their day. On our way back down the mountain we decided to end the day with a bang and enjoy a final sliding in the snow (and running back up the hill to go again).

Now we are embarking on our voyage home through the Drake which we hope will be nice and smooth but expecting otherwise!

FRIDAY 14TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

Back on the watch system today and crossing the Drake. We have two of the team on look out and two on the helm whilst the rest of the watch members waiting in the deckhouse.

Bark Europa has done some under sail and some under engine depending on the wind. The weather is currently sleety, snowy and there’s a cold wind alongside the fairly choppy seas.

SATURDAY 15TH JANUARY 2022

Author: ALAN NOAKE

It’s a short blog today… All ten of the team on Drake Passage watch duties! So we have a collection of photos of the team doing their thing!

Alan

Note: Sadly, our iRidium Satellite account ran out today. So text updates only from this ship email system until we reach end of voyage!

MONDAY 17TH JANUARY 2022

Author: MATTHEW WOOD

We are now well on the way back across the Drake Passage heading back to Ushuaia.

The ocean passage watch system has been back in force since 04:00 on the 14th and the team is into the swing of sleeping at odd times so that there is always someone on watch. The voyage crew is split into red, white, and blue watches and which are rotated as follows:


04:00 – 08:00
08:00 – 12:00
12:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 16:00
16:00 – 20:00
20:00 – 00:00
00:00 – 04:00


The two short watches in the afternoon mean that the watches rotate so everyone sees all times of the day, and there is not one watch who gets the short straw of the middle of the night every time.


The Europa team has been putting on talks for those not on watch or asleep on a variety of subjects including sail handling, the history of whaling, the geology of Antarctica, how to use a sextant, the race to the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen.


At midday on the 16th Sam successfully launched a second Argo float, after confirming with Argo HQ that it was worthwhile doing so so close to the location of the previous one.


We are now heading due North at around 8 knots, and have less than 100 miles to go to Cape Horn.

YOU CAN ALSO TRACK THE CURRENT LOCATION OF THE TEAM’S EXPEDITION SHIP LIVE ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:

ANTARCTICA DAY – PRESS RELEASE

Antarctica Day 1st December 2021 – The Advent Countdown to the Kent Scouts REQUEST2021 Antarctica Expedition Begins

  • Antarctica Day was established as a way to celebrate the continuation of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed on the 1st December 1959.
  • The Antarctic Treaty set aside 10% of the planet “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes in the interest of mankind”.
  • The advent countdown to the REQUEST2021 team’s departure begins today.
  • They fly from Heathrow to South America on Boxing Day and then sail from Ushuaia in Argentina for Antarctica on 30th December 2021.

Alan Noake REQUEST2021 Project leader, said:

“With exactly a month to go before we sail; we couldn’t have had a more appropriate day in the calendar to announce our immanent departure to Antarctica after many years of dedicated fundraising and planning. We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has helped us turn the dream into a reality.”

The ReQuest2021 project is a wider programme of activity centred around the expedition to Antarctica to commemorate the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922. 100 years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Quest sailed to Antarctica a ten strong team of Scouts and leaders are recreating the original ethos of the expedition by undertaking their own voyage to the frozen south. The ten participants will undertake research projects whilst in Antarctica on issues such as climate change, energy, exploration, education, health and the environment. Findings will be presented in a range of engaging formats including photography, soundscapes, reports, artwork and interactive forums.

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said:

“You are truly following in the footsteps of many legends including the great Sir Ernest Shackleton who set off on his Quest expedition. You are also doing vital work in how we can protect the world around us, which is so important.”

YOUTUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/4yqlb4Rz4Qk

The ReQuest2021, Antarctic Research Project Team will be sailing on board Bark Europa tall ship from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula, a 2000km+ voyage, and crossing the infamous Drake Passage, to the Antarctic Peninsula which the Scouts will be exploring for two weeks.

The Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922 included two Scouts: James Marr and Norman Mooney. On 30th December 2021 the team of ten scouts and their leaders will follow in Marr and Mooney’s footsteps and depart from South America for Antarctica.

The project is based upon three key principles: –


1. PEACE – Young people will form relationships with each other, their communities, other

Scouts around the world, and their environment.

2. ENVIRONMENT – Young people are more concerned about nature than ever and want to protect our environment – one study found that 60% of young people are worried or extremely worried about climate change.

3. HERITAGE – A way for young people to connect with intrepid explorers from the past, through an innovative programme of events, and mark those who went before.

Tracy Edwards, the skipper of the first all-female crew to sail around the world in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race said:

“I am very jealous that I am not going with you. Bon voyage! Have a fantastic adventure.”

For more information, please contact alan.noake@kentscouts.org.uk 07525 633435

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

About the Project

  • For more information about the ReQuest2021 expedition and the research projects, please visit http://www.request2021.org.uk  
  • The ReQuest2021, Antarctic Research Project Team will be sailing on board Bark Europa tall ship from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula from 30th Dec 2021 to 20th January 2022.
  • Over the past four years the ten Scouts have undertaken fundraising activities including a rowing challenge, grand auction and online merchandise sales to raise £135,000 for the expedition.
  • A key sponsor of the Request expedition is the East and West Kent Freemasons which have the same core values of supporting young people www.eastkentfreemasons.org  and www.westkentmasons.org.uk  
  • Individual Projects: CLIMATE CHANGE (LUCY), PHYSIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT (GENEVIEVE), 3D ICEBERG SIMULATION (GEORGE), COLLABORATIVE ARTWORK (DARCEY), OCEAN CURRENTS (SAM), ANTARCTIC SOUNDSCAPE (ALAN), MOTION SICKNESS STUDY (CATHY), PLASTIC POLUTION (HELEN), ELECTRICITY GENERATION (MATT), GEOMAGNETICALLY INDUCED CURRENTS (ALEX)
  • Group Project: THE ANTARCTICA SCOUT KRILL project. Partnership with British Antarctic Survey to study and raise awareness of the importance of Antarctic krill to the Southern Ocean ecosystem.
  • EXPEDITION PARTICIPANT NAMES AND LOCATIONS THEY ARE FROM: –
    • Alan Noake, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District Kent
    • Cathy Mummery, Weald District, Kent
    • Matt Wood, Malling District, Kent
    • Helen Smith, Gravesham District, Kent
    • Lucy Morgan, Sevenoaks District, Kent
    • Genevieve Scullion, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District, Kent
    • George Stonor, Faversham District, Kent
    • Darcey Holmes, Thanet District, Kent
    • Sam Payne, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    • Alex Maciver, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

About Scouts:

   

  • All genders, races and backgrounds are welcome at Scouts. Every week, it gives almost half a million people aged 6-25 the skills they need for school, college, university, the job interview, the important speech, the tricky challenge and the big dreams: the skills they need for life.   
  • Scouts helps members gain these skills by encouraging them to ask the big questions and listen with wide open minds. It helps them to take a deep breath and speak up, think on their feet, ignore the butterflies and go for it. With Scouts, young people don’t give up – they get back up and try again, often with the support of the friends they’ve made there.   
  • Our volunteers contribute more than 50 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities.