News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Sail to the Antarctic

Sail to the Antarctic

'Antarctic Mooring'    Blizzard Expeditions

'When you tack the ice that has built up on the sail crunches off and falls in a sheet onto the deck…. The average is a blizzard for a couple of days and then some magic weather…we’re going with a little bit of luxury this time – diesel heaters.. we have 3.5 metre dinghies – if you get hit by an elephant seal you want to be able to get ashore – it would be a cold swim…'

For this warm water cruiser, it all sounds very tough, but the words fall easily off the tongue of David Pryce as he is describing his forthcoming sailing journey to the Antarctic.

‘We can take 12 people,’ he explains, ‘but we will probably aim to take 10 – it is a nice number’

David Pryce -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  

This is Blizzard Expeditions, and David Pryce is a master mariner and naval architect with a passion for exploring the wild and remote corners of the globe. David has not only a broad sailing experience, ranging from weekend sailing to round the world Clipper Races. In the current Clipper Ventures Round the World Race, David took the Western Australian boat into a clear lead into Subic Bay.

Now he looking forward to another Antarctic summer. He's been four times to the Antarctic, and his experience shows.

'The South Magnetic Pole makes a good hopping off point to head north across the Southern Ocean.' He talks about the wind directions, the strategies for making the fastest and most efficient journey.

Antarctic coast -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  
He remembers his first trip: 'I had a little yacht and I sold that to go down to the Antarctic on the Spirit of Sydney. It was an amazing adventure and it was the best money I ever spent – that was in 1996, and it was the ‘pick-up’ trip for Don and Margie McIntyre, who had spent the year on Cape Denison.'

Even for this warm water sailor, the adventure is starting to sound interesting, 'You can check out the penguins, and Mawson’s Huts are there – quite amazing'

However, you need to be a little more than just a sailor it seems. David continues, 'It is more for an adventurer than a pure sailor. The people who have really got the most out of these expeditions are the people who really want to take on an adventure.

'Often they teach themselves to sail in the 6 months leading up to the expedition, then head off. I would say 50% are sailors and 50% are from other adventure channels like skiing, mountaineering, climbing - people who are into the outdoors. They also come from all around the world: Europe, Alaska, and America, a lot from Australia.

It is a 30 day trip - approximately 10 day passage to Antarctica 'depending on the how heavy the pack ice is', probably 10 days at Cape Denison and afterwards they head to the south magnetic pole.

Hannah McKeand -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  
This trip he will have as fellow crew member Hannah McKeand, also a veteran of Round World Clipper Races, and a skier to the South Pole – they make an impressive duo.

David talks on, evenly and almost casually, about the amazing sights available to these sailor adventurers:

'You can see mainly Adélie penguins and wendel seals, and you do occasionally get a leopard seal. They would almost push an Adélie into the water. The Adélies are prime targets for the leopards and also for the skuas which are a kind of vulture birds that prey on the new born chicks. And they are quite protective.

Aren’t I cute? -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  

And then there are the whales - leading in and out of Antarctica through the pack ice there is a good chance of seeing whales. The area of Cape Denison is actually where the Japanese were whaling last season. It is completely abandoned during summer, there are of course Mawsons huts, and there were government expeditions that were in Cape Denison during the summer periods.

I don’t believe there is anyone scheduled to be there this summer. It is quite eerie really, in a blizzard you could just imagine Mawson stepping out the door.

Mountain range on Antarctic Coast -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  
'The trip sailing down is an adventure in itself. The big icing period is the last 100 miles to the continent, that is when you start getting the winds straight off the continent and it is freezing. You quickly get ice build up around the lifelines and they will go to about 2 inches diameter really quickly.

'It builds up on the sails as well, you will be sailing along and when you get a tack this big sheet of ice falls off and crunches down onto the deck. If you get a windy run the last 100 miles a lot of icing occurs there.

And the boat? – 'This boat is made of aluminium, it handles the ice, and is 20m long. It’s warm, with diesel heaters this year. This particular Radford boat has not been used in Antarctica before; and so we’re in the process of refitting it specifically for Antarctica. Accommodation includes berths for up to 12 people. There are 6 single berths and 3 doubles which can be split into singles with dividers. She is also comfortably equipped with a large galley and social area amidship.

'The lifting centreboard configuration allows access to explore shallow areas while also enabling fast passage making. She is fitted with all the highest quality and up to date safety features and has an unusually large amount of storage space for equipment and gear.

OJ Sastrugi at Ellsworth -  Blizzard Expeditions?nid=24800  
'Oh and the other great asset she has for this type of trip is that she is also fitted with a satellite communications suite allowing continual email and telephone access all over the world.

'She has a small but lovingly stocked library of travel, Antarctic and adventure writing and a flat LCD screen with DVD player and a huge selection of films for those essential movie and popcorn nights.'

The trip starts on the 25th January in Hobart, costs around $14,000, and will be the 30 day adventure of a lifetime.

For more information and to make enquiries about joining the journey, go to the Blizzard Expeditions website.

by Rob Kothe


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

2:21 PM Tue 13 Jun 2006 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:

08 Nov 2013  Two solo sailor Septuagenarians doing oldest/fastest circumnavigations
19 Oct 2013  Dream building - young Indian sailor in smallest boat circumnavigation
31 Aug 2013  Sailing dream-turned-nightmare by trekking accident
19 Aug 2013  North West Passage - ice levels alarming for transiting yachts
17 Aug 2013  North West Passage in 33ft Dodo's Delight - gales already
16 Jul 2013  Polish crew to circumnavigate the North Pole in Lady Dana
09 Jul 2013  Sailor Jeanne Socrates, world's oldest non-stop female circumnavigator
08 Jul 2013  Circumnavigating French sailor in 8ft boat rescued in Torres Strait
22 Jun 2013  Jeanne Socrates - near to victory in Victoria
16 Jun 2013  Book Review: 'Suddenly Overboard' by Tom Lochhaas

News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part III) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - ‘Samba Pa Ti’ crowned champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,

Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Volvo Ocean Race: Call of Duty comes first for Team Alvimedica
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini
Helping boaters understand weather basics
PWA Alacati World Cup - Exciting finish on day 2
Match 40s find the surface again + Video
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition
IFDS World Championship overall
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay   
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys   
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature   
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos   
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach   
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us   
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!   
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar   
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay   
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club   
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT