Mick Pawley entertained Kirriemuir Probus Club’s recent meeting with an illustrated talk on Antarctica.
A member of the British Antarctic Survey for 14 years, he spent five winters and nine summers on the continent. Starting as a 23 year-old, he recounted how the journey from the UK took five months on a small ship, the ‘John Biscoe’.
His duties included surveying inland areas, not then fully mapped, also geological and climate observation. Trips lasted five months living in tents with one month back at base camp in between. Transport was by dog sledge and he reckoned he had covered 12,500 miles during his time there. Provisions were topped up from stores dumps serviced by light aircraft, difficult to locate in bad weather.
Mick returned recently, acting as guide and lecturer for a tour company. Visitors can now travel by ship, or by jet, which can land on an ice runway. Creature comforts are also much improved. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 4.