Lift off!

buy cytotec online   So it begins…While leaving for the Airport a few Sundays ago It began to sink in that this was actually becoming reality. Strolling through the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in Kingston, gazing at all the photos mounted through the Division hallways gave me a true understanding of what life was really like when the pioneering explorers first set foot and began to inhabit Antarctica. They donned woollen jumpers and animal skin foot warmers, building tiny wooden huts to survive in the harshest climate on the planet. A true testament to the resilience and determination of those in search of the unknown. These huts have since been abandoned and replaced with fully heated “luxury” buildings with spa’s, pingpong tables,  bars and fully catered kitchens. These modern stations are the homes of Scientists, tradesman, chefs and other visitors year round.mawsons hut

http://norcaltrimtrap.com/e.com/embed/E44KvlQFHaA   Over past few weeks we’ve had a busy training schedule every day preparing for life in the Deep South. We finish off most days with a quick walk down to Salamanca for a cold one by the water! On one sunny afternoon we took a drive up Mt Wellington which towers over Hobart casting a massive shadow onto the city as the sun sets. It stands 1200m above sea level and is often powdered with snow throughout the year. From the moon-like summit you can see every corner of Hobart and far beyond.

moon wellington

modalert in usa moon wellington

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hobart sunsets

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  My Dad flew down to chill for a few days and see what Hobart has to offer. We took a drive down to a one of the world’s heaviest big wave surf spots, Shippies. After 2hrs of trekking through the bush and scaling a cliff we stood at the base of Shipsterns Bluff, a mountainous rock protruding into the ocean that houses the infamous wave. This is a spot I have wanted to see since i was a Grommet. Unfortunately it wasn’t breaking as seen on the cover of Tracks or Surfing Life Magazine, but it was easy to see the potential the place has to Crack sculls or deliver the best Barrel of your life. We sat under the rock and watched 6ft+ bombs blow there guts out onto the reef as the tide filled into afternoon.

shippies from the lookout

shippies from the lookout

Dad under the Bluff

Dad under the Bluff

 

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Next was MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. The Museum is an Architectural masterpiece on the side of the Derwent River, if you haven’ t been to Hobart this is a must on your to do list. Its not your generic museum full of traditional art and old artefacts. Its an interactive, quirky and twisted experience leaving your mind boggled at what you’ve just seen. One piece displaying 50 plaster cast vaginas on the wall comes to mind.

inside MONA

inside MONA

After another week of training my cousin flew down for the weekend. We had decided to hire an Audi TT and go touring for the day.  Heading up the east coast we flogged the little red sports car along the empty tasmanian roads leading us through meadows, steep mountain passes and winding endless coastline, it was an epic, thrilling experience.

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The plan was for our flight to leave Wednesday, these leave dates are always considered a guestimate as the weather is incredibly volatile down south. We received the message that the flight had been postponed but there was a small window on Thursday afternoon that would allow us to land! So Thursday morning we boarded the custom built plane and rocketed south.

Wilkins Aerodrome

Wilkins Aerodrome

Landing on an Ice runway 4 1/2hrs later in -10c was a surreal seachange indeed. After a 4hrs and 65km driving over snow/ice we finally arrived at Casey Station, my home for the next 3mths. This place truly is incredible, the vastness of the landscape with its glowing blue ice, rocks, icebergs, extreme weather and  extraordinary wildlife make it an addictive and scary place to be. At present where stuck inside the ‘Red Shed’ (the accommodation building) as the wind has picked up over the last few days to around 60kts throwing buckets of ice and snow everywhere! Hopefully it eases by Monday, I have to spend a night with no tent out on the ice for survival training. Wish me luck!

'Pricilla' the AAD bus.

‘Pricilla’ the AAD bus.

arriving at the Antarctic Circle!

arriving at the Antarctic Circle!

New Beginnings

  After confirmation that i would be going on an antarctic expedition, i sat back and began to think about where this opportunity would lead me.What was in store for me in the next few years?, where did i want to be? and what where my goals? I came to the conclusion that i was going to leave my day to day life and commit myself to pursuing adventure, experience and knowledge. This is not a soul searching mission, it is a mission to open my eyes to the world and hopefully shed some light back.

  So it starts in the bubble, Byron Bay. Its called the ‘bubble’ because once you go in, the outside world can appear very distant and its difficult to get out. It is a hub for many including myself, you just don’t want to leave! Byron has amazing cultural diversity, thriving activity and of course consistent surf which attracts almost 2 million tourists every year!. Hearing amazing tales of people”s travels and backgrounds during my time there couldn’t help but be inspiring. So 3 weeks ago after an epic farewell I left Byron.

on the road

on the road

  I planned to have a few weeks on the road heading to Victoria for a surftrip before commencing training for Antarctica. So i picked up my good mate Patty in my home town Bowral and Camped, Fished and Surfed down the coast stopping in Bendalong and Eden for a night before heading to Torquay.

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Saltwater Creek

Saltwater Creek

In Torquay we where greeted by Adam Stanley, a mate and amazing artist who told us the surf down south was going to be pumping the following day!  We set off early the next morning, after arriving at the spot and bashing our way through the scrub we stood on the cliff face to find perfect empty head-high Barrels, clinically pulsing down the bank with lines backed to the horizon! We where jumping out of our skin to get down there! (Id be shot if i disclosed the location) After surfing for 5 1/2hrs we dragged our crusty, aching bodies back up the cliff face and we sat there mind surfing every unridden barrel for an hour before the thirst and hunger pains became too much.

After Surf Beers

After Surf Beers

Lorne Pier

Lorne Pier

  We headed back up to Melbourne after a few days to check out the buzz of the city and meet up with our good friends Rhys and Coral. Melbourne is my favourite Australian City. It has the coolest vibe with bars, restaurants, street performers and art on every corner, we even got up at the casino!  After the weekend there we travelled  back up the highway towards Bowral, camping on Lake Hume and fished at  Sanctuary Point on the way home.

Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley

Lake Hume

Lake Hume

After 3000km’s it was nice to get home without breaking down, hitting a single Roo or receiving a speeding fine. Its now time to start preparing for the Deep South, training begins in Hobart next week. Living in Tasmania for 2 1/2 weeks is going to awesome, Im looking forward to tapping into what this isolated state has to offer.

Sanctuary Point

Sanctuary Point