The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Category: Expedition youngsters

Dreaming of warmer times

Welcome aboard Robbie and Cara

Posted by Robbie - 5 December 2013

Hi, I’m Robert Turney and I’ll be going on the A.A.E expedition to Antarctica for 2013. At twelve years old, I will be the youngest on the expedition and every day, on the boat and ice, I will be giving you a kid’s view of the expedition. We are only 6 days away from leaving […]

Leaving Bluff - photograph & processing by Cara

Day 2 – Seasickness and scrabble

Posted by Robbie - 9 December 2013

Leaving Bluff – photograph & processing by Cara We’ve been on the boat for nearly twenty four hours now. I have already recovered from being ill and am now spending my time playing Scrabble and going to small lectures in the auditorium. This ship is surprisingly nice, when my Dad showed me images I thought […]

Lab discussions - photographed and processed by Cara

Day 3 – Russian announcements

Posted by Robbie - 10 December 2013

Lab discussions – photographed and processed by Cara It’s early in the morning. My eyelids are sagging and my legs are aching. But somehow, there is nowhere that I’d rather be than on this boat. The rocking of the ship is actually soothing for me, yet isn’t for others onboard. It’s a lot worse than […]

Macquarie Island

Day 4 – Macquarie Island

Posted by Robbie - 11 December 2013

Macca – photographed & processed by Cara The boat has been dancing a jig all night. Sleep and patience are lowering in unison. But me, well I’m pretty sure my appearance both verbally and physically have stayed the same. Although my memory might need to be improved. Most of the other passengers read my first […]

Day 5 – Temperature drop

Posted by Robbie - 12 December 2013

Day 5 on the boat now. The food just seems to get better and better. Three course meals; steak, chicken curries, fish. Every night Nikki and Brad pop up with more options for us to eat. Just yesterday our starter was an amazing Caesar Salad. Dessert was a creamy tiramisu. And parents I apologise if […]

Ice - Photographed and developed by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210

Day 7 – Breaking ice

Posted by Robbie - 14 December 2013

Ice – Photographed and developed by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210 Today I woke up to the ice. I was dreaming peacefully when a loud crack rang out and jolted me awake. I quickly went to the porthole and tore open the blinds to discover pack ice all around us. I immediately got changed and headed […]

Iceberg - photograph by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210

Day 8 – Whale

Posted by Robbie - 15 December 2013

Iceberg – photograph by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210 These ice days just keep getting better. I took an early breakfast of bacon and toast then went to the daily schedule sheet to find what today had in store for me. Standing out amongst the usual lectures about ice and wildlife, there as one truly exciting […]

Day 10 – No penguins!

Posted by Robbie - 17 December 2013

We hit Antarctica today. After a bit over a week we have got to the Driest continent on Earth. It started by seeing a vast area of icebergs. I counted 47 at one point. After an hour or two of that we came alongside the fast ice next to Commonwealth Bay. There was a huge […]

Emperor Penguin and Macpac

Day 11 – Hanging out in Antarctica

Posted by Cara - 18 December 2013

After zipping across the bay on the zodiac, we landed on the ice, finding ourselves surrounded by Adelie penguins jumping out from the water.   Milling around our feet, they staggered and slid like drunken ice skaters.  We set up two camps amidst the penguins; the first a replica of Mawson’s original tent and supplies, […]

Day 11 – Amazing noises

Posted by Robbie - 18 December 2013

Today we were helping with the science teams. I decided only to help during the morning as I had sprained the joint between my big toe and foot. There were few options for the science, ice coring with Erik, listening to Seals and Whales using sonar, or just mucking about on the ice. For the […]


Day 12 – Seal hunting

Posted by Robbie - 19 December 2013

Penguin – photograph by Cara. Fujifilm Instax 210 Today a team of scientists headed to Mawson’s Huts.They left at 5‘o’clock in the morning and arrived just before 1 in the afternoon. There was a big cheer when we heard the news of their arrival. But for the rest of the passengers, we all went Seal […]

Day 16 – A day in the Argos

Posted by Robbie - 23 December 2013

Today was absolutely stunning. This was the day we got a full on drive in the Argos, along the fast ice and straight to the continent. It was very enjoyable, possibly the most fun I’ve ever had outdoors before. The ride was really bumpy and we were going up and down getting some jumps when […]

Day 18 – Christmas day, ice bound

Posted by Robbie - 25 December 2013

Today flew right past me. I know it was hours but it felt like seconds. I kicked my day off by waking up at 6:45 and lying in bed watching Big Bang Theory on my Ipad. That felt slightly longer as I was itching to run up to my parents room and tear open some […]

Day 20 – Snow Dragon approaching

Posted by Robbie - 27 December 2013

Today we heard news of our helper-outerers. The Snow Dragon or Xue Long is due to arrive in a couple of hours. I’m pretty sure they’re sending choppers to assess our situation. It’ll be good because it will be the first sign of civilisation outside of this ship. The French ship is meant to arrive […]


Day 21 – Bad news from Snow Dragon

Posted by Robbie - 28 December 2013

We heard some bad news today. The Chinese ship Snow Dragon can’t get to us on it’s own so we’re going to be here for another couple of days while we wait for L’astrolabe and the Aurora Australis get here. Once all three are here they will be able to work together to cut a […]

Day 22 – Ice slides & igloos

Posted by Robbie - 29 December 2013

Today was one of sleeping in. I was asleep until 9:30 depriving me of breakfast. And readers if you were on the ship you would realise how annoying that is. Although I did make it to the briefing on time, there they revealed some very interesting news. If the Aurora Australis and Snow Dragon can’t […]

NYE salsa. Photo by Cara Turney. Fujifilm Instax 210

Day 24 – New year’s eve

Posted by Robbie - 31 December 2013

NYE salsa. Photo by Cara Turney. Fujifilm Instax 210 I woke up late today. I completely missed breakfast and the daily briefing. When the others got out of said briefing I asked them what the news was. Turned out that there was a roughly 70% chance that tomorrow the helicopter from the Snow Dragon will […]