Sunday
Nov042007

What Money Can’t Buy: Christmas in McMurdo, Antarctica

IceIn the holiday spirit I'm offering up this essay I wrote shortly after returning from Antarctica in 2005. Happy Holidays to all.

January 2005, and the wind at Cape Royds on Ross Island, Antarctica, had me pinned inside a Rac tent, with few books I wanted to read, two people I hardly knew, a dwindling food supply, and intermittent satellite access to the internet. When I logged on to see if anyone was missing me, one of those endless internet banners floated across the computer screen: holiday blues? Buy what you really wanted.
    I turned to David, a grey-haired, middle-aged bespectacled penguinologist, and his young, attractive assistant Jen.
    “How did you celebrate Christmas?”

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Sunday
Nov042007

Circling the City

Beachunderbbrdg2_5The night before kayaking around Manhattan I did not sleep. Last year I didn’t sleep either but then I stayed awake because I was sure I was going to die—that the Staten Island Ferry would knock me over in its wake, I’d go over and never surface. This year my mid-night thoughts revolved around the currents and tides. Timing is essential to these trips—if you have the current, it’s do-able, if not, not.

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Sunday
Nov042007

Antarctica, Rhinebeck and Bowermaster

Rhinebeck_7We had our first reading for Antarctica in Rhinebeck’s cosy and wonderful, independent bookstore Oblong. One of the great pleasures of doing these readings is getting to know the writers whose works I’ve read and re-read for months. For this reading that person was adventurer, writer and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, who is a marvelous, generous storyteller with a wealth of experience in the Antarctic.

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