Voyage to Antarctica: Mothers of the Pole

9.15.2013

By Clark Harding

Clark Harding, Out Traveler's resident adventurer, recently recounted his journey to one of the harshest environments on Earth. In this second part of a series, Clark has some close encounters of the maternal kind.

My mom and I have this terrible reputation for barfing together.

It’s not like she was a crazed stage mom who forced me to be bulimic or anything. We are simply cursed with the same genetic predisposition to motion sickness. For example while fishing in Alaska, we were both hurling over the railing. SCUBA diving in Honduras? Fed the fish. Driving through Ireland? We had to pull over and yak on the side of the road. I’m telling you, its like clock work. Wherever we go together we barf…and barf…and barf.

This time on our trip to Antarctica, however, we came prepared with doctor prescribed, scopolamine bandages that go behind our ears. Aside from the slight drowsy side effects, it’s perfect for rough days at sea, standing on icebergs or, in this case, sledding down a glacier on our butts.

“Wow…you may have the fastest ass on the continent," said a hunky field leader with a smile.

“I get that a lot,” I responded, as I glided to a stop. My mom was right behind me gleefully howling like a six-year-old. On South Georgia Island, we’d been retracing Earnest Shackelton’s last few steps after he famously crossed the sea in a life raft 100 years prior, and hiked in to Stromness, a now abandoned whaling station. Similar to Shackelton, the best way down the glacier is to sit and let gravity do the work for you.

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