My interest in the Antarctic began in 1958 after I met the son of my father-in-law’s motor mechanic whilst having my old bomb serviced. Ron had only returned home the day before from a 12 month stint as a land surveyor. He told me that he had a wonderful and enjoyable time working down there. He stated that he was only home for a short while before he had to return to complete the project he had been involved in.
In 1978, when I was umpiring football with the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League, our umpire’s advisor brought a friend to training one very cold night. When he was introduced to us we were informed that he had just returned to Melbourne from working down in Antarctica. We were all interested in the work he’d been involved with and what it was like to live there.
The following week, instead of training, this chap spoke to us about his stay down on the cold continent and also commented on our training attire. He told us that when one went out into the cold the most important pieces of attire was good footwear and a beanie.
During May 2015, I saw an advertisement in the Herald Sun newspaper for a seminar about trips to the Antarctic to be held at the Rialto Hotel, Collins Street, Melbourne. The session I went to, there were only three attendees but I found it very interesting and came away completely hooked.
Finally, I got myself organised to go to Antarctica on the 12th of February 2017.
We departed Tullamarine Qantas Domestic Terminal at 8:15 am in a Qantas 747 aircraft with a full plane. On arrival at Antarctica, our first communication was with Casey Station at 1100 hours and the first sighting of the ice was at 1310 hours. Then we flew over the continent for the next 6 hours, before our return home, arriving at Tullamarine at 9:00 pm.
During the day, everybody was very cooperative because we were all there to see as much as we could and have a wonderful experience. It is not easy for everybody to see out of small windows.
With respect to sitting near a window, one could book a window seat, but when we reached the half way mark of our time there, you were required to swap seats with another passenger who had booked a window seat.
Each time I looked out of the plane window, the beautiful scenery appeared to be changing all the time. We flew at a height of 10,000 feet above the ground.
When one reads facts about this continent, it’s larger than Europe and twice as big as Australia. I found it to be a fascinating place, something that I have never seen or experienced before in my travels.
This story was supplied by a The Investment Collective client for 2017 Financial Planning Week.