Tonight will be my last at Scott base having spent close to 3 months on the ice.
To learn firsthand the history of Antarctica through living at Cape Royds and Cape Evans (the sites of the historic huts) has been as close to a traditional Antarctic experience as you can get. Ten weeks total living in a Scott polar tent with temperatures seldom above zero and sunlight streaming in 24/7 I have learnt to take all manners of obstacles in my stride. The things I have seen and done here beyond my wildest dreams. I have worked hard through sun and snow, but always woken up buzzing that I have realized my dream of being here.
(Last day at Cape Evans)
I write this final blog from inside the T.A.E (Tranz Antarctic Expedition) hut at Scott base, built by Hillary and his men in 1957. The humble start of New Zealand’s 53 year ongoing residence in Antarctica began here. Looking back on the many highlights of my trip, I am reminded of the smells of these historic huts, climbing icebergs, flying in helicopters over Antarctica’s unspoiled landscape, swimming in the brash ice on my 22nd birthday, spectacular wildlife and trips to the Scott Base Ski Field. These and many more memories have been so special to me in countless ways. To share them with my friends from the Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT)and Antarctica New Zealand have made them all the more important. Living here I have forged some unique friendships in day to day life with many passionate driven people all of whom have dedicated themselves to preserving Antarctica’s rich history. All of which have taught me a great deal about team work and leadership, all of whom I regard as close friends.
(Antarctic Heritage Trust team in Scotts hut)
I hope that Antarctica remains the place it is today, a hub of scientific activity and history supported by a small and friendly Scott Base. Long may the rest of the world continue to support conservation and research in Antarctica for the benefit of us all.
Many thanks to the Sir Peter Blake Trust for this life changing opportunity, as well as the support of the Antarctic Heritage Trust and Antarctica New Zealand who have been with me all the way.
This program is a fitting way to celebrate the life and achievements of Sir Peter Blake, an ambassador for the environment and a truly remarkable leader.
(Sir Peter Blake)