Today I remembered being 13 years old for the first time in a long time (though my consultants and friends often say I have the mental age of a 12 year old).

It was 9pm at night.  The video screen popped up and from my chair in Antarctica I was teleported into Netherthrope School in Derbyshire, England (

A class full of 35 teenagers’ faces, all waiting to ask me questions.

It was fantastic – one of the best things I have ever done.

I bought a lot of equipment and clothing out here with me, some of which was provided by sponsors.  This was to quench my thirst to push modern technology to its limits – heating clothing, a banjo, camera and video stuff, communication equipment and more – in an extreme environment.  And here I was sat on Skype in the middle of nowhere able to communicate with the class.  A triumph for modern technology.

It reminded me when I was travelling down Rio Amazonas River a couple of years ago, from one hospital site to another.  Doctor Marcus Lacerda, a friend and established Specialist of Vivax Malaria in the Brazilian Amazon, had lent me a 3G Internet USB adaptor for my laptop.

So there I was sailing down the Rio Amazonas at night under all the stars you could ever wish for, having a conversation with a bright and educated daughter of a local Amazonian family in Portuguese via Google Translator!  The following morning I watched Wimbledon Tennis Tournament from the comfort of my hammock on the boat sailing the river.  Wonderful.  And I never got Malaria.

Back in Antarctica, we had been online for just less than an hour.

I was impressed by the variety and types of questions I was asked.

I came to Antarctica as an enthusiastic 28 year old pretending to be a precocious 50 year old based on the books I had read and great many places I had visited before – and looked at life here as such – with the wisdom and sarcasm of a well-travelled person.

But on speaking to the class, I immediately was shown a new way to think about Antarctica… through the eyes of a 13-year-old.  I was learning too.

Examples of questions asked by the class were:

  • “Do you hunt Penguins?”
  • “What do you do in a typical day?”
  • “How do you go to the toilet?”
  • “What do you eat?”
  • “What’s the temperature where you are now?”
  • “Will Antarctica be different if lots of people lived there?”
  • “Is Antarctica windy?”
  • “What is your favourite animal in Antarctica?”
  • “Which do you like more- the Arctic or Antarctic?”
  • “Have you ever been in a dangerous situation before”
  • “Can you go outside?”
  • “What law exists in Antarctica?”
  • “Why don’t your hands and eyes freeze when you go outside?”
  • “What clothes do you wear when you go outside?”
  • “Which is more extreme – the Arctic or Antarctic?’

I especially liked this one – which was the most difficult:

  • “What kind of doctor are you and what qualifications do you have?”

(My Answer- an adventurous one; not as many as I would like).

To Natasha Froggatt, who set this up – Many Thanks – it was excellent!

If you know of a school that would like to hold a live Antarctic Class with me here – feel free to get in touch via the CONTACT option above.


Weather report & Song of the Day

I have decided for all future blogs I will provide the reader with the current weather conditions and my song of the day with a link to be able to listen to it whilst you read my blog.

Link to Song of the Day:  Long Ways to Travel by Woody Gutherie



Temperature [°C]      : Avg=-55.3

Min=-59.0 at 04:13  Max=-50.9 at 14:32


Wind Chill [°C]       : Avg=-71.3

Min=-76.9 at 04:24  Max=-65.4 at 15:36


Wind Speed [m/s]      : Avg=  3.7

Min=  2.5 at 03:21  Max=  5.2 at 12:35


Pressure [hPa]        : Avg=641.6

Min=641.1 at 13:47  Max=642.4 at 00:00


Relative Humidity [%] : Avg= 44.7

Min= 41.0 at 03:55  Max= 49.0 at 13:35