Is it possible to go on an Arctic Expedition by yourself?
You mean...like...just you and a tent? Umm...I guess, but it wouldn't
be easy. Remember to take a big knife to harvest penguins. Or
mount your own expedition with some scientists. You'll need a lot of
money. I suggest you go to study the effects of arctic ice on gin and
tonics, then go to gin distillers such as Beefeaters for funding. By the
way, Penguin tastes like chicken.
But I suspect you mean without your spouse or friends. Yes, of
course. One option is to get a job working on a scientific base. If
you're a marine biologist or some other ologist, you can seek a
scientific position. Or go as support staff, such as a cook, carpenter,
electrician, or whatnot, plus the new job of Hip Hop dance instructor
training penguins for their upcoming film, "Just Chillin'".
I contacted ITASE (International Trans Antarctic Scientific
Expedition), who directed me to the National Science Foundation,
who manages a few smaller stations, scientific expedition ships, and
the largest base station, McMurdo. They directed me to Raytheon
Polar Services, who does all the staffing. There's a lot more I could
tell you, but you can find out everything you need to know at their job
site (rayjobs.com). You'll work 6-7 days a week, but there's lots of
recreation available when you can fit it in. You can view a live 24
hour webcam of McMurdo. Just Google it. It's currently winter there
(approx. January to October) when it's night all the time. The rest is
summer, when it's always daylight.
Many cruise ships go to Antarctica, with daily excursions to land or
kayaking and mucho fun, informative stuff.
But the Grandaddy of them all is Abercrombie and Kent Extreme
Adventures, named by National Geographic as one of the "Best
Travel Adventure Companies on Earth." You'll travel by plane with
198 other guests to Patriot Hills, the only private camp in Antarctica,
for orientation and some activities. Day 5 you fly again to Berkner
Island, where your base camp will be set up near a 1000 penguin
nookery. At times you'll be within 50 feet of them, and it's not
uncommon for tuxedoed critters to come up to study you out of
curiosity. Lots of hiking is available, and assorted activities. Tents
are heated, and a large dining room is set up with three scheduled
meals per day, but it remains open round the clock, and the Chef
always has hot soup, warm drinks, and snacks. You can come and
go as you please, 24 hours per day. It's always daylight.
I spoke with Jean Fawcett, Luxury Travel Specialist, who said,
"About 10% of the 199 travelers go by themselves, plus there are
142 Crew Members and 17 expedition staff, including specialists."
"Like the Penguin guy?" I said. "Ornithologist?" she said. Yes, him
too. "There's also a doctor and a medical center. You only need to
be mobile and all ages participate, with a variety of activities,
something for everyone."
And how much will it set you back for this once in a lifetime
experience. About $50,000, plus some special gear. All in all, you'll
never forget it. To learn more, visit their website at
Did you know, to a Arctic shark, ornithologist tastes like chicken.
What would happen if you stood directly under Victoria Falls
I assume by "you," you mean you, not me. Call a suicide prevention
hotline first, because that's gonna kill you. But what do I know. So I
spoke with Jane, an African safari specialist in Capetown South
Africa where she works for Go2Africa. She said, "Oh, I don't think it's
even possible to get down there, but if you did, it would kill you...at
the very least it would seriously mess you up."
Imagine a penny being dropped on your head from 330 feet. That's
gonna hurt. Now imagine truckload after truckload hitting your
noggin. Fugeddaboutit. But there are other exciting, daring things
you can do. During the dry season, a pool is formed at the top of the
falls called Devil's Pool, and you can swim in it, and get right up to
the edge and look over. Just sign a release. Has anyone
accidentally gone over the edge? "Just once," Jane said.
That's Devil's Pool. In fact, I am informed by Kalizo Lodge nearby
that in 1910, a Mrs. Moss and Mr. Orchard had a nasty run in with a
hippo further along the falls, their canoe capsized, and they went
over the edge. Their bodies were found at the bottom half eaten by
crocodiles. Or you can bungee jump and lots of other exciting things.
Check out www.Go2Africa.com for more information.
Just remember, to a crocodile, humans taste like chicken.
The Adventure Guy - Series 1:
Arctic Expeditions, and Crazy at Victoria Falls