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How His Next Adventure Began

In The Snow Shoes of Scott & Shackleton
In the 1950s when Richard was a young student, history and geography were his favourite subjects. The Antarctic was still largely unknown and only a miniscule area of the vast continent was explored. He did dream of going there one day, to the same places where Scott and Shackleton had endeavoured to stage their assault on the South Pole, a feat not achieved until 1911.

In the early 2000s Richard purchased all the Admiralty charts to enable him to sail his own yacht from Melbourne to the Ross Sea in Antarctica via Macquarie Island. Instead he circumnavigated Australia by plane and yacht but never lost the urge to get to Antarctica.

In 2011 an old friend, Tony Warr, came up with the suggestion to go to the Antarctic on board an ice breaker. Richard immediately said, “Count me in”. Tony and Richard booked through Heritage Expeditions in early 2011. Because of the extreme conditions in Antarctica there are only two expeditions a year, one in January and one in February.

They discovered that the 2012 season was sold out and so booked for February 2013, the first available cabin we could get. Unfortunately Richard was then diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. His prostate was removed by robotic surgery in October 2012.

Thankfully some four months later Richard was given the all clear. However he had to postpone the 2013 trip to 2014. They were lucky to get an available berth, due to a cancellation, for the January expedition. The cabin we booked was described as a mini suite, under the bridge, well forward on our little ship, the Spirit of Enderby.

Adventure has been in my blood all my life, having flown my own plane for many 1000s miles around Australia and subsequently circumnavigated Australia by sea in my yacht, Epsilon. I then sailed my new yacht Scarlet Ribbon across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Proceeds from my previous book about these adventures, ‘If Matthew Flinders Had Wings’, and now this brief diary of my trip to Antarctica go towards medical research for mental health via the Epsilon Research Fund.