Saturday, 21 February 2009


Farewell Antarctica

It's Saturday evening of the 21st February 2009.
The final night at Halley for 10 of us (myself included). For tomorrow we head north aboard the Ernest Shackleton.

And thus concludes my Antarctic adventure...

The past 15 months on this fantastic continent have been simply fantastic.
I guess I don't need to bleat on about how much fun and how enjoyable it was, as you all have probably gathered that from my various blog entries. And that is just a small sample of them...I simply couldn't have recorded everything in this blog.

There have been many experiences whcih will live with me for the rest of my life. To summarise the most significant...In the space of 15 months I have:

- walked amongst a colony of 1000s of emperor penguins, several times over
- watched the southern lights from my front door
- sat under the millions of stars of the southern the middle of the afternoon
- flown an aeroplane over the Antarctic continent
- been to the 84th degree latitude
- watched the sun both set and rise in the space of an hour
- experienced -50degC
- abseiled into a cathedral of ice-crystals in a deep crevasse
- lived in a tent in the middle of Antarctica
- conducted experiments and measurements for world science
- seen some meteorological phenomena I'll never see again (probably)
- ran outside naked in -47degC!

The list above has hardly scratched the surface.

And now it is time to start my 6 week journey back to the UK via the Falkland Islands and South America. And then to reintegrate myself into normal society and slip back into the life I had before I left.

All I can say is this...I am so glad I took this opportunity to experience all of the above (i.e. all that I have shared with you in this blog). I have no regrets at all.

See you all in a few weeks time.
Beers are on you!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dave. It has been a superb vicarious experience, and your chronicles have been wonderful. We are fortunate to live on a beautiful planet and fortunate too to be able to touch into the experiences of yourself. You've had a fantastic time; it'll be fantstic to have you back home. Stay safe and the first Rec Soc beers on me.
All our love
Steve and Vic

Anonymous said...

Oh David, its been wonderful to share with you everything you have worked and lived with with the last year and a half.
You have achieved something most folk will never do. We, your family, are so proud of you..xxxx
Have a safe but exciting journey home.
Tell Scott (scooter), Dean and Ags to stay in contact with me or else.....
Love to you son
Mum, Dad, Andrew and Ian xxxx

Anonymous said...

You're the moneybags...the drinks are on you David...oops I meant Steve...the BEST butler after you of course. Meh.

Anonymous said...

That penguin looks a bit bemused, I’m not surprised! I'm pleased this Antarctic blog isn't quite over yet. It will be missed! It's been a privilege to hear about every single one of your Antarctic experiences, told in that inimitable style of yours.
I look forward to the next instalment!
Siobhan xxx

Anonymous said...

Hello David,

My name is Frances, I have been following your blog and would love to ask you some questions about Halley...

Please ~ can you send me your email address?

Mine is

I really hope to hear from you.
Kindest regards.

Oranjepan said...

Love your blog - I'm just sorry I found it so late...

I hope you keep up writing it on your return, though obviously the focus will have to change - after so long away I'd be fascinated to read your unique perspective on modern society, how it's changed in the meantime, the process of readjustment etc.

Dave Stephenson said...

Maybe I should end this blog with a follow up 1 year after leaving Halley...Watch this space I suppose.

Oranjepan said...

Probably not - in current conditions your expertise might become very useful!

Anonymous said...

Why no update? Lazy git!