Dash up Mount Aspiring

I was about to turn 45, so hell, why not try and get up Mt Aspiring in one day. It had been done before by Geoff Small in under 24 hours, I’m not sure of his total time but I was confident I could do it in a time close to 12 hours than 24. […]


This is where you will find out about the adventures of the Northanger in its Feb/March 2006 Antarctic adventures. The crew are: Greg – Boat owner/skipper – originally from Ashburton, NZ although has been sailing consistently for the last 15 years or so to amazing places. Keri – Boat owner/skipper – from Canada, met Greg […]

Ushuaia – “world end”

We find Greg at the Airport and the Northanger tied up at the wharf. The boat is ferrari red and Greg says that we have to sail fast to try and keep up with the paint job. Inside is Keri with chocolates on the pillows and a warm Canadian accent. The boat sinks a bit […]

Away at last

Finally we are away, food, wine and gear packed. South-easterly wind coming up the Beagle Channel (very unusual). We do customs to leave Argentina and motor to Puerto Williams. Feels great to be under way as packing and organising is wearing thin. Beech trees line the narrow inlet of Puerto Williams – looks similar to […]

After the Drake Passage

We arrive at our first anchorage in the dark – I’m not on watch so I’m in my bunk but awake and listening to all the goings on. I hear Bruce navigating using the radar, calling out instructions to someone at the steering wheel. Then the anchor chain rattles out and eventually the engine goes […]

Notching up the first climb!

The summit of Savoia Peak (more impressively known as Mt Luigi de Savoia) looks like one of those out of balance ice-plastered peaks in Patagonia. Look at it from the right (or wrong) angle and it’s quite phallic! After leaving the Northanger anchored in Port Lockroy we head up the Thunder Glacier and camp at […]

Climbing a chocolate buttress

Numb toes and hands, I’m climbing a steep granite crack, maybe grade 18 or 19. The odd snow flake flutters past – must be below zero. Below me I can see the waves breaking on the shore, there are icebergs with seals lolling around sleeping. The Northanger is anchored in a neighbouring bay eyeballing an […]

The Ukraine visit and Demaria Peak

Imagine 12 men, ranging in age from 21 to 50, stuck on a small island for 14 months. For 4 months of that time there is only 18 hours of daylight a month. Fortunately, this particular batch of men had only been at the Ukrainian base Vernadsky for a month so they hadn’t gone too […]

3 days in a penguin sewer

Our campsite on Booth Island is not the best we’ve ever had – penguin and seal poo everywhere! However, it is convenient for our second trip up Mt Wandel. We have already dropped the piglets (Matt and Bruce) off for an attempt on an unclimbed buttress called False Cape Renard (but we have renamed Piglet […]

Swimming in the Antarctic!

Swimming in the Antarctic seemed like a good idea in a New Zealand summer at 30c but once I was down here, with icebergs in the sea and a cold wind, my bravado began to fail me. Then suddenly the time felt right. After Bruce and Matt’s exploits on Una’s False Tits and Chris and […]

Climbing in Paradise

Recently when we get up in the morning the surface of the sea has an unusual wrinkliness to it. I was going to say like the wrinkly skin around an old man’s eyes, however, I just looked in the mirror and realised it looked like the skin around my eyes! The surface of the sea […]

The ultimate irony

My day starts in a snowy tent, biding time with Matt and Erik while we wait for the Northanger to pick us up. Somehow Matt has weaseled into the sleeping bag with Erik, while I am out in the cold! And even more rudely, they both fall asleep, snoring away, while I am reading them […]

Leaving the Antarctic

Wine for diesel – not a bad trade for the people of the yacht Sedna, a millionaire’s floating palace converted to a filming base by a group of enthusiastic Canadian wildlife documentary makers. They are having re-supply problems and all their wine is still in Argentina, much to their dismay! We are invited for dinner […]

Wildlife and Icebergs

You have to be pretty tough to survive in the Antarctic – I was constantly amazed at the tenacity of the wildlife there and it’s ability to prosper in such seemingly barren conditions. I guess it’s only barren from our surface level point of view – the whole ecosystem down there depends entirely on krill. […]

An inside view of the Drake

Erik’s thoughts of the Drake Passage It’s hard to believe I’ve spent a whole working week in the Drake. The experience can’t be described as enjoyable – bouncing around in continuous motion, never a rest from the pounding waves. Sometimes it’s just disheartening, every wave we crash into stopping us in our tracks, reducing the […]

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