August 1st, 2015
A Kickstarter for your consideration: Maciej Ceglowski is soliciting donations to take a 36-day voyage to the Ross Ice Shelf, Bay of Whales and subantarctic islands, and write it up real good.
I propose to take a 36-day voyage to the Ross Sea in Antarctica in February, 2016 and write a series of articles about the journey. For the past 13 years, I have written a popular-ish weblog at idlewords.com, and I know some of you have read and enjoyed my posts. Don't try to deny it.
In the past I have traveled to, and written about: Yemen, Argentina, China, Poland, Iceland, Australia, Romania, Transnistria(!) and the mysterious land we know only as "Canada". I've done so on my own dime, and writing about it has been part of the fun of traveling for me.
This trip is a little different, in that visiting Antarctica costs a small fortune. So I am here, hat in hand, asking for help to make the journey in return for a promise to write some really interesting and engaging prose about it in return.
The trip I have in mind is a 36-day organized sea cruise on a Russian icebreaker to the Ross Ice Shelf and Bay of Whales, with stops along the way at Australian and American bases (including McMurdo sound) and numerous subantarctic islands. A detailed itinerary appears below.
Most Antarctic tourism is limited to voyages along the Antarctic Penninsula lasting just a few days. Only about 350 tourists a year visit the Ross Sea, an area of immense historical and natural interest reachable only from New Zealand.
I've written extensively about Antarctica before (a serious example at http://idlewords.com/2010/03/scott_and_scurvy.htm, a funny example at http://idlewords.com/2006/03/ruling_antarctica.htm). If those posts appeal to you, I think you'll be in for a treat if I manage to actually see the place firsthand.
In particular, I'd like to write about the Ross Ice Shelf (in connection with climate change), the curious German and Italian bases on our route, penguins and migratory birds (who doesn't love penguins?), whatever secrets I glean from the 25-member Russian crew, Polynesian history in the godforsaken cold sub-antarctic islands, the fight to eradicate rats and rabbits from these places before they can eat all the birds, and probably (if past Antarctic writing is any indicator) 49,000 words about ice.
In concrete terms, I pledge to write at least seven substantive articles, totalling at least 35,000 words, by May of 2016. People who pony up at least $11 will get this in a nicely formatted downloadable form, along with a podcast version (mp3 files) for listening to on the go. […]