Adventures at the poles


There are few yachting journalists who would not jump through hoops in a bid to get themselves down to Antarctica. I include myself in the legions of blunt nibs who would love to take their pen on such an adventure.

But is it right that so many of us should want to join the potentially ruinous ‘footfall’ on this near virgin continent? To claim that we are the eyes and ears of many who will never go there is spurious is this internet age.

My thoughts turned to the South Pole today when another book about the frozen south and north appeared on my desk. Arctic 2 Antarctic by Michael Holland and Janet King is an account of their cruise to both ends of the earth in their 71ft ketch Celtic Spirit of Fastnet. It is without doubt a magnificent tome, superbly illustrated with photographs and drawings.

One line hooked me: ‘The wilderness of ice and water are terrible places where nature retains ultimate power.’

Perhaps it should stay that way?