Ice and the Sky


I refused to yield to...

...and smell the salt and burnt

diesel that lifted my heart.

You don't see the Antarctic

coming, you fight your way in.

The endless coastline

blurs into the horizon.

Dumont d'Urville,

the French scientific base...

...built alongside

the Antarctic cliffs.

Everything was astounding.

First, the welcome from the locals.

Just one step on

a voyage so long...

...that nothing ever seemed

far away again.

Many more weeks of travel...

...lay ahead before reaching

the Charcot base.

It's odd to see a year of one's

life in just a few crates.

A year in the world's largest...

...wilderness with

no supplies available.

I fretted

I might have forgotten something.

Thinking about Charcot now...

...its where my vocation

as a glaciologist began.

Mostly it's where I discovered... lifelong passion

for polar expeditions.

My posting was part of

International Geophysical Year...

...a huge, global study campaign.

There was particular focus...

...on the Antarctic.

More than 40 scientific


...had been specially constructed.

Mine was probably the smallest...

...and most remote.

The hitches came thick and fast.

A veritable baptism of fire.

After one mishap,

I was ordered to lighten our load.

I understood the meaning

of the word "renouncement".

I remember the tumbling


Doors were opened... prevent condensation

freezing on the windscreen.

I soon realized the gulf here...

...between the possible

and the feasible.

Stretching the legs

was an ordeal...

...with every step leading

further into oblivion.

On the 7th day,

the wind speed exceeded 200km/hr.

Sleep was impossible.

The temperature in the cabin

was -18C.

It was ten days

before the skies cleared.

The work-out did me good.

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Luc Jacquet


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Ice and the Sky" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 31 Jul 2021. <>.

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