Ice Coffee: The History Of Human Activity In Antarctica



The history of human activity in Antarctica


  • 109_Operation_Tabarin_part_2

    06/12/2020 Duration: 01h31min

    James Marr takes his military expedition south and sets up shop on Goudier Island at Port Lockroy in Bransfield House, and also Base A. 

  • 108_Update

    30/11/2020 Duration: 04min
  • 107_Operation_Tabarin

    18/11/2020 Duration: 01h04min
  • 106_Women_in_Antarctica

    05/08/2020 Duration: 01h53min

    More fuck! than you can poke a stick at.

  • 105_USASE_Part_3

    05/08/2020 Duration: 01h41min

    So fuck! it warrants spelling fark!

  • 104_USASE_Part_2

    04/08/2020 Duration: 36min


  • 103_USASE_Part_1

    01/08/2020 Duration: 01h14min

    Keystone cops. Byrd at his finest. Fumes and fuming.

  • 102_Ellsworth_s_last_Antarctic_gasp

    11/07/2020 Duration: 55min

    Lincoln Ellsworth convinces Sir Hubert Wilkins to head south once again and achieves very little. 

  • 101_World_War_reprise_and_foreshadowing_the_cold_war_to_follow

    30/06/2020 Duration: 14min

    The War to End All Wars didn't do what it said on the box and political and economic pressures to fascist all over Europe, China and the Pacific led to another protracted period of bloodshed and barbarism.  This episode is short and short on Antarctic content but it's important to understand the motives and outcomes of the morass of conflicts we came to call the Second World War because war and its wake once more held a lot of sway in what happened in Antarctica and by whom it happened to happen.  No mere happenstance but economic and politically driven outcomes lie in the offing and only those nations not completely economically crippled by conflict could afford to get south again in the short to medium term.  Not a pleasant episode to write or record and likely little fun to listen to.  Huskie antics and people doing heroic and dumb things lie in the offing, I promise. 

  • 100_Nazis_on_ice_part_two

    02/06/2020 Duration: 40min

    Nazis don't deserve theme music, soundscapes or even my best efforts at editing out narrating flubs. 

  • 099_Nazis_on_ice_part_one

    29/05/2020 Duration: 27min

    Driven south by the Third Reich's thirst for fat, the Schwabenland (ship version) carries two cool flying boats and a load of fucking nazis to Antarctic shores.  No house keeping and no calls to action, this episode, because I hate nazis and writing, recording and editing this episode made me grumpy.  Given that I parted brass rags with Quark expeditions because one of their guests called me a nazi and I told him to go fuck himself only re-doubles my anger at having to incorporate nazi assholes into my narrative.  Even Richard Byrd doesn't get me this pissed off. 

  • 098_BGLE_wrap_up_and_twice_the_normal_number_of_McArthurs

    22/05/2020 Duration: 42min

    The British Graham Land Expedition comes to a close but it's not the last we'll hear of its members or the repercussions of the work they carried out.

  • 097_BGLE_Part_2

    26/04/2020 Duration: 01h41s

    The British Graham Land Expedition near the end of their second year in Antarctica.  Much flying, sledging, surveying and the first crossing of Graham Land. Huzzah.

  • 096_The_British_Graham_Land_Expedition_Part_01

    30/03/2020 Duration: 54min

    John Rymill picks up where Gino Watkins' death left off and leads the most efficient Antarctic expedition to date.  Lots of new discoveries, competent seamanship, sledging and flying ensue.  The BGLE set the mold for safe and competent operations in the high southern latitudes.

  • 095_Santiago_the_ornithologist_and_John_the_pilot

    29/02/2020 Duration: 30min

    I've traveled with Santiago for three austral summers and his humour and humanity have buoyed my moods while his perspectives on the birds we encountered opened my eyes to biological vistas I'd previously not spotted due to my focus on the mud.  I only just met John Marsden ten minutes before pressing record but his tales of high latitudes aviation warrant further attention than the ten minutes afforded at Seaworks.  I hope to spend a lot more time in company with these people in the future but until then here's a sonic record of our encounters.  And some faux advertising to let you know what I've saved you from/what you're missing out on. Next month, the BGLE get moving. 

  • 094_Ellsworth_triumphant_but_still_a_jerk

    05/02/2020 Duration: 01h04min

    Lincoln Ellsworth's money returns to Antarctica with new pilots, no meteorologist and Norwegians all but ready to throttle him.  Job's a good 'un, though, in spite of the lack of oomph, patience and skill the money bags brought with him.  Herbert Hollick-Kenyon nails one of the best put downs in Antarctic history while puffing on his pipe, munching on boiled sweets and reading westerns.  Lots of penguins, seals and Swedes in the aural background. Still holding off on throwing the switch on the Patreon account as there's one more episode in the offing, this month.

  • 093_Ellsworth_at_his_best

    01/02/2020 Duration: 01h06min

    Ellsworth's money gets it into its head to be the first to cross Antarctica. Wilkins, Balchen, Braathen and another polar pig get tangled up in his weak sauce Ahab routine. Soundscapes featuring Port Circumcision and the waters just off Two Hummock Island, which I'm sure is the British Hydrographic Office's cleaned up label for a rude sailor name originally given that land mass by some sailors who'd been at sea for a really, really long time or who knew a woman with really unusually shaped breasts.   

  • 092_Ice_Life_Art_and_Unemployment

    29/01/2020 Duration: 01h09min

    Two interviews with three fellow Drake Passage crossers and a thunder accompanied decompression after recent upheavals. Anyone who feels hard done by in the third act is welcome to a right of reply.  Also putting out my shingle via Patreon once more. outlines what's on offer in return for financial support but I won't start processing episode releases through the Patreon system until people who signed up years ago have a chance to check they still want to contribute at the levels they pledged.  Back to history next episode with some more on-site recordings about Lincoln Ellsworth's further efforts to make a name for himself by paying other people to do all the things.

  • 091_Little_America_Two_Finale

    30/12/2019 Duration: 01h32min

    In an epic episode spanning an hour and a half and featuring a singing leopard seal, blowing humpbacks and the tuneless honking of the penguins the residents of Little America and Bolling Advance Base and the various dog and half-track teams reconvene and get out of Dodge aboard the Jacob Ruppert and the Bear.

  • 090_Little_America_part_two_part_three

    25/12/2019 Duration: 01h05min

    Byrd gets exactly what he asks for, what he deserves, and then saved, spoiling the symmetry of an otherwise well mapped story of hubris and punishment in the Greek myth mold. 

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