Leg 1 Archive Portsmouth to Gran Canaria 29th August - 10th September 2001
Leg 2 Archive Gran Canaria to Rio de Janeiro 18th September - 16th October 2001
Leg 3 Archive Rio de Janeiro to the Falkland Islands 25th October - 11th November 2001
Leg 5 Archive Falkland Islands to Rio de Janeiro 16th February - 4th March 2002
Leg 6 Archive Rio de Janeiro to Antigua 13th March - 6th April 2002
Leg 7 Archive Antigua to Southampton 15 th April-146th Mayl 2002

Despatches from  Antarctica (Leg 4) 19th November 2001 - 4th February 2002



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Expedition Despatches....

Leg 4 - Antarctica

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4th February 2002 Mare Harbour - Falkland Islands

At 0300 hrs GMT on 4th February 2002, John Laing was all secure at moorings in East Cove of the Falkland Islands."     more....>
2nd February 2002 Enroute to the Falkland Islands

".... but it will probably not matter by then because our progress so far has been sufficiently rapid that we expect to arrive at East Cove in the Falklands before midnight (UK time) tonight (Sunday).     more....>
1st February 2002 Mount Pendragon with the 'Pygmy Pulkers'

"They reached the connecting ridge, albeit with a little difficulty which they easily overcame with some rather unconventional ‘freefall’ climbing techniques, while Steve and I waited to photograph them as they made their way up the final summit ridge."    more....>
31st January 2002 Elephant Island

"So there we were up on the beach with the inflatable boat sat upside down on an ice block (about a 2 metre cube), with kit strewn all over the place and in the surf and the outboard motors embedded in the shingle."
24th January 2002 Charcot Bay - Trinity Penninsula

"It was a great shame to leave Paradise Harbour - In the last days of our stay it became a positively social gathering as word spread of our presence in the superb little anchorage I described a few days ago."     more....>
22nd January 2002 Paradise Harbour - Mount Hoegh with the "Gambo" crew (Endless Summer Expedition).

"Therefore for the second attempt at Mount Heogh the BAAE team comprising of Dick, Tim, Dom, Steve, Si Horne and myself were joined by three of the “Gambo” crew – the expedition leader, Dr Alun Hubbard from Aberystwyth, David Fasel a professional mountain guide from Freiberg in Switzerland and John Miller from Vancouver."    
21st January 2002 Paradise Harbour - Mount Banck

"Mount Banck, the guardian of the southern sea channel approach into Paradise Harbour.  Standing alone and proud, this particular snow capped peak has spent much of the time hidden by cloud.  Unlike the Expedition’s earlier efforts necessary to portage food and equipment to sustain a prolonged stay on the plateau, this was but a one day sprint – no less of a challenge nonetheless but, come the evening, the good news of the mountain’s successful conquest was much more readily available......."     more....> 

17th January 2002 Paradise Harbour

"Even without sails, John Laing was making no ground to windward and, downwind, was accelerating up to 6 knots under bare poles as driving horizontal snow reduced the visibility to almost nothing."     more....> 

14th January 2002 Mount Luigi - Port Lockroy

"The rising sun cast a magical light around us, the Promised Land called, but the mountain was not beaten yet."   
10th January 2002 Port Lockroy

Port Lockroy is, for many, the very image of an Antarctic base - a small group of stalwart and hardy staff, incarcerated by geography and climate to a long, lonely isolation living in weathered huts and performing unique scientific experiments in this harshest of environments.    more....> 

7th January 2002 A belated Christmas celebration on board John Laing & Brabant Island, scene of the 1984-85 Joint Services Expedition, revisited....

The small cluster of brightly coloured Pyramid tents sitting in the warm sunshine, the boxes of stores gathered around the hut, the barrels of fuel for our cookers and boats and most importantly the laughter and voices of my friends had all gone, and sadly now some of those friends have gone for ever.  There was no visible evidence of our passing all those years before but with the sounds of there voices still ringing in my ears I felt as close to those friends departed as if I'd seen them only yesterday....    more....> 

5th January 2002 En-route to Port Lockroy, via Bulls Bay, Brabant Island.

We awoke on Christmas Eve to continued bad weather with heavy snow & poor visibility making further progress impossible....    more....> 
1st January 2002 Yacht at Waterboat Point, Mountaineers on the Foster Plateau.

Happy New Year.  In the event of no news - we can do something about it....   more....> 
28th December 2001

Yacht at Melchior Islands,  Climbers on Foster Plateau.

Fresh from success on Harris Peak, the climbing teams have gone on to reach the summit of Mount Johnston - thought to be only the second time the peak has been climbed and at 7580 feet over double the height of Harris Peak
...   more....> 
27th December 2001 Enterprise Island, Reclus Peninsula.

BAAE Team stands atop Harris Peak.  On route to the Plateau, one of the three three-man teams currently deployed ashore took time to crest Harris Peak (3287 feet).  This is not a first ascent - far from it - but it is a landmark and illustrates good progress being made along the Reclus Peninsula and towards the Forbidden Plateau....    more....>

23rd December 2001 Enterprise Island, Reclus Peninsula.

As we build up towards Christmas Day the thoughts of every Team Member will focus very much on those who we have perhaps rather selfishly left behind....   
20th December 2001 Anchored off Antarctic peninsula.

Here too it rapidly became apparent that the snow and ice conditions, at least at this early stage of the season were not going to allow a safe ascent, let alone descent (which in mountaineering is very often the more dangerous procedure) to or from the Forbidden Plateau....    more....>
17th December 2001 Anchored at Waterboat Point, Antarctic peninsula.

Publicity is a double edged weapon - we certainly cannot claim to be the first, or the furthest or the coldest or....     more....>    
14th December 2001 Enterprise Island - The Antarctic Peninsula.

As Tim, Harry and I skied off up the Reclus Peninsular on a beautiful afternoon and we watched the John Laing slip silently away to the South to her new anchorage, the enormity of our surroundings began to hit us....   more....>    
12th December 2001 Enterprise Island - The Antarctic Peninsula.

Tales of lost skis in the deep snow and 25 hour days on difficult ground attempting to find the most viable route onto the summit of the Antarctic plateau become like an addictive yet only partially played out serial and there is a tendency here at sea level to speculate with increasing melodrama on the missing parts of the tale.  It must be even worse at home....   more....>
11th December 2001 Reclus Peninsula - The Antarctic Peninsula

John Laing is secure and the first climbing team is ashore on the Reclus Peninsula....  more....>
7th December 2001 Anchored at Telefon Bay, Deception Island

Having resolved to move to a more secure anchorage at the northern end of the 5km lagoon we paused briefly to exchange courtesies with the staff of the Spanish research base of Gabriel de Castilla on the southern slopes of the dormant volcano....   more....>
6th December 2001 Desception Island

It was after midnight last night that Windy Gale steered us through the imposing cliffs on either side while I nervously checked charts and compasses to ensure avoidance of Raven Rock, an unseen but treacherous rock situated right in the middle of the seemingly safest channel....   
5th December 2001 Southern Ocean - Drake Passage

The Southern Ocean is an extraordinary place and not easy to describe....    more....>
2nd December 2001 Southern Ocean - Drake Passage

John Laing is nearing her destination but from there the Expedition begins in earnest.....   more....>
30th November 2001 Leaving the Falkland Islands en-route to Drake Passage

For the present however we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to 78 Sqn RAF, the Oasis coffee shop crew, the Darwin Mess Catering team, The Met Office, JCUFI, the MT and Medical Centre; to 460 Port Tp, the Naval Engineering Unit FI, Stew (from Turners), all members of HQ BFFI (particularly Jonty Clewes), Hattie and all at Port Howard, Terry and Sheila at San Carlos, Penguin News, Robin and Frank (and team) at BFBS, John Nicol from Marconi and many many more....    more....>
29th November 2001 East Cove, Falkland Islands

Tomorrow we sail!


28th November 2001 East Cove, Falkland Islands

By Webmaster - Standby for a despatch tomorrow.
21st November 2001 East Cove, Falkland Islands

Position report & weather only....    more....>
19th November 2001 East Cove, Falkland Islands

The expedition's 'Antarctic Team' are assembling in the Falkland Islands and preparing the yacht John Laing for departure around about 28th November.  Please return to this page at that time to follow the expedition's progress.


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