Gruelling Days

Why does the clock go so quickly when we are enjoying ourselves?

If only we could accomplish the tiring gruelling days of the mundane as easily quickly and enjoyably as those spent in the field, then packing vital equipment food and supplies would be a pleasure. Sadly these jobs do have to be done and the success of a trip frequently depends on the dedication and hard work put in by all the team members on the tedium of the organising.

Everyone helping out

Last Sunday saw the whole Team plus the Group Leader (who will be acting as Home Agent) sorting, stripping away all non essential packaging and filling our now familiar plastic barrels with the food tools and equipment on which the whole Team will rely whilst in the field, starting in two weeks time.

This time it was a lesson in the economical and the planned allowance of seven sixty litre barrels was soon reached then just as easily overtaken.

We are now in the situation of having to book more and more additional barrels onto our freight. How grateful we are to SAS who have accommodated our wishes without turning a hair.

More support received

The generosity of individual supporters for the ARG is amazing. Using online fundraising through our social media networks we have raised much needed funds towards the cost of the expedition. Thank you to all those who have been kind enough to donate. One generous supporter commented “I’m not able to go and do the sort of things you will be doing for the good of the planet and my donation is my way of being involved with you and doing my bit vicariously”.

We have also been generously loaned key pieces of kit that will help us to achieve our goals and do it safely. Two separate sources have supplied us; one with a hand held EPIRB and the other a bank of VHF marine radios. We’re also grateful that we will have a satellite telephone with us to be able to communicate with the media and our home agent, Ian Frearson.

With these essential tools we will be able to communicate effectively with each other and should the situation arise, where we need outside assistance to come to our help, then we have the emergency communication that links through the satellites back to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency to send support.

And Here is the News

Two recent interviews on BBC Local Radio have meant the forthcoming ARG expedition is now better publicised and the projects more widely known and understood.

Arctic Tern entangled

On Tuesday, Steve Staley and Chris Searston both gave a live interview for BBC Radio Nottingham and discussed the challenges of research work in the Arctic, including attack from Polar Bear, the need to raise funds as a charity and the plans for the 2019 expedition, then Wednesday saw Ian Frearson delivering an account to BBC Radio Derby on the background and make up of the ARG together with details of the 2019 expedition projects. Ian described the projects and highlighted the dramatic effects of pollution on wildlife in the Arctic.

ARG supporting Sir Ernest Shackleton in BBC ICONS live final on 5th February.

ARG Members will be in the audience of the BBC ICONS series live final in London to support Sir Ernest Shackleton when viewers will select the winner of the series that has sought to identify the most iconic individual of the twentieth century.  Sir Ernest Shackleton was voted the winner of the Explorers category programme, beating astronaut Neil Armstrong, cartographer Gertrude Bell and primatologist Jane Goodall.  When Shackleton was selected, The Arctic Club was contacted by the TV programme makers to invite members of the club to be in the audience during the live broadcast final which is coming from Indigo at the O2.  If you’re reading this before the programme on 5th February, please make sure to watch BBC2 between 9:00pm and 10:00pm on Tuesday 5th February and vote for Sir Ernest Shackleton.

BBC ICONS Final – Vote for Shackleton

Freight at last

Phew I can relax again for a day or two, the freight is on its’ way. 

So long in preparing & getting a price, the freight has at last been taken to Immingham and accepted by our shipping line, Bring International. They have been so good today in helping sort it all out & get paperwork done, so well done Scott & staff, we will not be seeing it again until Svalbard hopefully.

New Grant

The ARG is pleased and proud to announce that they have been given a grant by the Gino Watkins Memorial fund that will cover the outbound freight to Svalbard, a vital element in the overall scheme.  packing of all the goods to be sent from UK is now underway and we expect it to leave for Svalbard by the end of this month.  Our grateful thanks to our referees who gave us such good references to help secure the grant.

Coming to a head

At last things seem to be coming to a head, With the collaboration between the ARG and Professor Andrew Hodson we now have a robust and well planned revised proposal that will see us marrying up with another group, all studying some facet of the Warm Springs of Jotun & Kjell.  In order to minimise the effect on the environment we have now combined our resources regarding transport so we go out on Lance and return on a ship chartered by another group. this will reduce our overall footprint considerably, something with which we are very pleased to be a part.

Charity Boost for 2017 Research Expedition

Only weeks after being registered as a charity the ARG has received a bonus in the form of a gift of shares in a leading UK company that will help fund not only the forthcoming reconnaissance but also the 2017 Expedition.  The Group are delighted with this early response to their recent status update and will be offering an evening of photographs to their latest supporters by way of thanks.

ARG achieve Charity Status

The ARG are pleased to announce that the Group now has charity status and therefore able to maximise on any funding raised.  The whole of the Group’s activities will benefit from this, including the young scientists that form part of the Group’s research expeditions.

Any organisation or individual considering donating towards the Group’s next expedition to Svalbard in 2017 may do so direct into the Group’s bank account, details of which are below and are encouraged to use the gift aid option by filling in a form available on request so ensure tax benefit may be recovered.

REGISTERED CHARITY NUMBER     1167722

BANK DETAILS

Account Name

Arctic Research Group

Barclays Bank  Sort Code 206366   Account ref.  93915891

All donations will be acknowledged if donors details are given and this is important for charity returns.  All donors will automatically receive a copy of the preliminary report for the expedition supported.

 

Final member for 2017 Expedition

The ARG are seeking one last member to join the Group on their next expedition to north-west Spitsbergen during Summer 2017.

The ARG plans to visit the Bockfjorden area, at almost 80º North. Details of the planned research work may be seen on the Group’s website at www.arcticresearchgroup.org. The Group’s planned research projects include Ecology, Glaciology, Geology, Meteorites, Pollution and making a full film and photographic record of the projects and the expedition as a whole..

The position would ideally suit someone with some experience in at least one of these fields, preferably the Ecology side, as well as being attuned with outdoor living. A wide experience of camping in severe conditions would be useful as would some experience of mountaineering.

In return for a place on this expedition the successful candidate will get to visit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of the High Arctic of Svalbard, some of the most northerly land before the North Pole, and will have the opportunity to undertake important and meaningful scientific research.

Applications of interest should be send to the Expedition Leader at [email protected] with details of current academic qualifications and a full C.V.

Conditions of membership participation will be available to all applicants.