Sunshine, 35 °C. No, that’s not Antarctica yet. We’re currently sweating in Buenos Aires, Argentina. So far everything goes smoothly, also with all our extra luggage. We should arrive in Ushuaia tonight. Can’t wait!
It’s been a year or so. And here we are again. What a weird, but wonderful feeling. All packed, all excited, all a tiny bit nervous.
Right now shuffling luggage once again. More soon.
Not long until will leave Belgium and head South. We are incredibly excited, slightly daunted, but most importantly we’re READY to face the challenges that the ice and the ocean hold in store for us.
For the documentary we have all the camera equipment in place. For those in the know: we will be shooting with the incredibly compact but powerful Sony A7Sii, which we’ve paired with two gorgeous glasses: a vintage 50mm Mammyia + Metabones Adapter, as well as one of Sony’s highest rated wide angle zoom lenses (G Series FE 16-35mm F2.8) to capture Antarctica’s breathtakingly vast landscape. To keep the glare out of our footage we’ve invested in one of the best filters out there, the BW variable ND filter.
So with all the best gear on our side, we’re now working closely with our director to put it to its best use and potential.
More updates soon!
WE MADE IT!
And all our Backers made this possible! Thank you very much for your generous support all over the world. It is amazing to see so much enthusiasm about Antarctic research. Thank you!
We will update everyone through various channels with news about our expedition, the documentary production process and how we spend the funds from this crowdfunding campaign.
Currently, we are completely absorbed with the preparations for the expedition. The dates are set: We will leave Brussels for Ushuaia on the 19th of February and return on the 28th of March. Our exact departure dates from Ushuaia to Antarctica will be weather depended.
The B121 team
Last year, a group of three students from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) approached us in the framework of their course on science communication. They were interested in organising a post-expedition conference on Belgica120. As we unfortunately needed to turn around after our first attempt, Lea, Maya and Géraldine decided to draft a general audience paper in Science Connection, a journal edited by the Belgian Science Policy Office. The paper has now been published and you can discover their work here (in French of Dutch): FR-https://bit.ly/2JZ61JY NL-https://bit.ly/2qJCaMU
Marking the 121st anniversary since the first Antarctic expedition in human history, an international team of nine scientists embarks on a journey to the frozen continent. Our choice of transport: a small sail boat.
We are launching a crowdfunding campaign to support the preparation of a documentary about this extraordinary adventure. This documentary is an intimate account of a small group of ambitious individuals, who are passionate about introducing a more sustainable way of conducting Polar research to the science community. The harsh beauty of the Antarctic landscape is reflected in the rawness of the footage, which will be captured by the scientists themselves – above and below water. Some of the most deeply poetic and profoundly personal texts have been produced by the original explorers during what we today refer to as the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration”. While the old diaries speak of the struggle for survival, this documentary rather resembles a first-hand video journal about the fervour that comes with realising ones aspirations, the hope for making a change, the strains of the sea, and the intensifying pressure of no escape.
More information on our kickstarter project page…
I guess there’s no easy way to say this. About 24h ago we suffered an engine problem, more specifically a broken gearbox. Although the crew tried very hard, this is something that couldn’t be fixed on the spot. Very bad luck. We turned around and are sailing back towards Ushuaia. We’re all safe and sound and the weather conditions are fine. The spare parts needed for repairs won’t arrive soon though, so it will be the end of this year’s attempt for our expedition.
I feel incredibly sorry, particularly for our chief scientist and skipper who both worked extremely hard and invested so much to make this happen. Everybody is very sad of course, but we have not given up the dream. If the odds are not with us now, maybe they are another time – we’re already thinking about next year for a new attempt…
Time is a relative thing. We left Belgium only 4 days ago – feels much longer with all that happened. Now, it accelerates again, throttle down and off: last dinner, shower, night, and right now breakfast on land. We got a security briefing yesterday already. Departure within the next hour. Approx. 8h until Cape Horn and then enter the Drake Passage. Drake lake or Drake shake? Either way, here we go!