Saturday, December 23, 2017

Our New Bicycling Adventure Book is Published!

My daughter Jocelyn and I completed our around the word bicycle journey riding home to Cape Canaveral, Florida in December 2016. While stationed at the South Pole this past winter we wrote our second book about this ride, "A Father and Daughter World Cycling Journey".

I have been home for a month now and we have putting the finishing touches on this book. This new book is available through our website: 

Follow this father and daughter team of Mike and Jocelyn as they return to their bicycles for an awe-inspiring world adventure after their journey across the U.S. and New Zealand as written in their first adventure book published in 2013. In pursuit of this, they begin their most challenging ride yet from Marrakesh, Morocco to Bangkok, Thailand. North Africa, Europe, Central Asia, China, and Southeast Asia are traversed as they continue to explore this amazing world along with its diversity of people and cultures.
After this enlightening ride, they continue from Washington State at the Canadian border and work their way south down the West Coast of the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and South America. Upon reaching Puerto Montt, Chile, they concede that the Southern Chile winter weather will prevent their progress further south. Next on their list is heading east across Canada to Nova Scotia, then south along the East Coast of the U.S., and then home to Cape Canaveral, Florida. They arrive home in December of 2016 from a world trip consisting of 37 countries, five continents, and over 28,000 miles.
Mike and Jocelyn envisioned this travel by bicycle not so much as a cycling exercise but rather as a means to get to out-of-the-way places, to dig deeply into a country’s cultures, and to meet locals in a way that normal tourists rarely do.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

South Pole Mike is off the Ice!

I am off the ice and spending four days in beautiful Christchurch, New Zealand before flying home. I will spend a few days visiting my sister Tish and brother-in-law Jim in San Diego before continuing home to Florida. 

It has been four days of walking the parks and seeing green stuff, watching dogs and hearing birds sing. It's the simple things in life that winter polies enjoy. I have also enjoyed a few lunches and dinners with my polie friends before we all go our own way. When you spend nine months in close quarters with 45 other people you develop relationships that only winter-overs understand. All of a sudden we are like grains of seeds tossed in the wind to rebuild our lives.

My third successful Antarctic winter has come to an end. I'm somewhere around number 1,200 - the number of people who have wintered at the South Pole since the first winter-over crew in 1957. That number increases about 45 each year. That's only a few of the world's population. I look at it as a great honor to live and work this adventure.

I would like to thank you all for reading and sending comments. It can be a difficult time made easier with comments/emails. I would also like to thank my wife Andrea for once again letting me live my dreams. With an around the world bicycle ride with my daughter Jocelyn and three Antarctic winters I haven't been home much in the last six years since I 'retired'.

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, "I'll be back."

The Winterover Antarctic service medal that is authorized to be worn on all military service uniforms. For each year served there is a bronze, silver, and gold "Wintered Over" ribbon given. I now have the full selection. 

McMurdo Chapel with Mt. Discovery to the left. McMurdo is technically not part of the continent. Mt. Discovery is on the continent about 20 miles away separated by the Ross Ice Shelf.

A fine group of winter polies at Gallagher's Bar in McMurdo Station. 

Hut Point to the right and looking across the sea-ice shelf. During the summer this ice shelf is cleared and open to sea life of all kinds. Pods of whales and orcas cruise the sound and many more seals and penguins are present. 

Observation Hill and two of the transient barracks - Mammoth Mountain Inn and Hotel California. 

McMurdo Station heliport.

McMurdo Ground Station with a 30 foot weather satellite communications antenna inside the dome. During my first ice winter in 2012 I worked here under a a NASA contract. 

A fine ride to the C-17 airfield. 

Mt. Erebus (left) and Mt. Terror, two of Ross Island's four volcanoes. Both are named after James Clark Ross' Antarctic expeditions ships between 1839-1843. 

Mt. Erebus is the southern hemisphere's most active volcano and stands at 12, 500 feet. It last erupted in 1979 and is 25 miles from McMurdo Station.

Walking to our off the ice transportation.

My chariot awaits.

It was a comfortable but loud 5 hour flight to Christchurch, New Zealand.

Turning in our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear at the USAP Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) next door to the airport.. We were glad to get rid of all that. Back to regular clothes. What a treat!

While waiting for a ride to our hotels we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. 

USAP paid for one night at a hotel then I moved to this fine much cheaper hostel (called backpackers in New Zealand) across from the immense Hagley Park near the downtown area. This house is over 150 years old with 27 rooms. It was converted to a hostel 13 years ago. 
Christchurch Cathedral was heavily damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Built in 1864 it has been deconsecrated due to heavy structural damage. I have been in Christchurch three times since the earthquake as the city is a stepping stone to McMurdo and the South Pole. Christchurch recovery is slow but steady. 
Before the 2011 earthquake.
On my way home to Cape Canaveral, Florida!

South Pole Redeployment and we made it to McMurdo!

"And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  And you may not even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in.  That's what this storm is all about."  Haruki Murakami

An appropriate quote my sister Tish sent me recently. I will be visiting Tish and my brother-in-law Jim in Pacific Beach, San Diego, California for several days before returning home to Florida.

A few winterover stats:

Fuel consumed: 267,000 gallons of AN8
Water produced: over 280,000 gallons
Over $400,000 of food consumed

November 8, 2017: After a one week delay leaving the South Pole 32 of us winterovers finally arrived in McMurdo after a 3 hour 835 mile flight. Now we are in another weather delay to Christchurch, New Zealand.
A friend brought his bike out after a long winter storage. 

The other side of the South Pole sign. Shadows are long with the low sun elevation.

After riding a bicycle around the world with my daughter Jocelyn ( the South Pole is one of the more unique places I have ever ridden. A little tough on the under station ice though. The snow is too deep in other areas.

Our 2017 winterover picture hangs proudly with 60 other winterover pictures since 1956 on the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Hall of Fame.
An 835 mile LC-130 ride back to McMurdo!
Our chariot awaits.

A fine moment. Another great adventure is coming to an end.

A last look at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

A very tight fit inside the LC-130 Hercules.

The Trans-Antarctic Mountains.

McMurdo Station on Ross Island surrounded by sea-ice and the Ross Ice shelf.

Ready to de-plane.

Our chariot to McMurdo about one hour across the Ross Ice shelf to Ross Island.

An almost sunset on the Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo Sound.

There are several airfields on the ice shelf and a seasonal one on the sea-ice right outside McMurdo.

Fine ice transportation.

A weddell seal nursing her pup. 

A memorial at Discovery Hut Point with Observation Hill in the background. I have hiked Ob Hill several times in the past.

McMurdo Station with Robert Scott's Discovery Hut he built in 1903 on his first expedition. He anchored his vessel HMS Discovery in this harbor. 

Vince's memorial cross. He fell into McMurdo Bay and the crew erected this cross more than 100 years ago. 

We hiked to Scott Base about two miles from McMurdo.

Having fun with the sea life in McMurdo Sound. Yes, there are orcas in the sound.

After a South Pole winter -40 is a normal balmy summer day!