Meet a Real Polar Explorer

Introduction to Polar Explorer, Antony Jinman

'The world is an incredible place; I've always been fascinated with travel. I love travelling the world, going to different environments and seeing new, exciting things.'

What is it like to go on a Polar Expedition?

'Going on a Polar expedition is incredibly challenging. The weather is very, very, very cold. The sea might freeze; the land has lots of snow and ice. The animals that live there are very unique to living in this Polar environment'

How do you go to the toilet on a Polar Expedition?

'You have actually got to go to the toilet rather quickly because any bare skin will start to freeze in about a minute at -40 degrees with a slight breeze. So you have to be very careful that you don't get frostbite.'

What is the difference between skiing to the North and South Poles?

'Skiing to the North Pole is very different because you're skiing on the ocean and you've got those ice cubes that are colliding together and breaking apart. Then it's very difficult for a plane to land actually on, so help wasn't always at hand. Whereas in Antarctica, there's actually quite a lot of planes and people there to help, if you need it.'

Why are Polar regions important?

'So, we visit Antarctica to either do research and to do science work, or we might visit it as an adventurer or as a tourist. But because nobody actually lives there, it's a protected continent under the Antarctic Treaty. So when we visit, we should never leave anything behind. We shouldn't litter.'

Why should we remember the Polar explorers of the past?

'The geographic South Pole was only discovered just over 110 years ago. So in the whole scheme of things that's not that long. Names like Scott, Shackleton and Amundson and the others that went there, and some of them gave their lives to do research and to discover a little bit more about our planet, which we call our home; it's really important to hear those stories and to listen and learn through their experiences about what they discovered along the way.'

Expedition to the North Pole

What was it like to ski to the North Pole?

'So only 200 people have ever travelled across the Arctic Ocean to the geographic North Pole, and I'm one of them. So the entire journey took me 51 days and was a distance of roughly around 400 and 500 miles, which is a very long way to spend 51 days with just two teammates living in this frozen environment, which is as cold as your freezer at home, living in a tent. Try to imagine how you might feel, especially at the start of the expedition'

What is the most challenging part of the North Pole expedition?

''The hardest part about a North Pole expedition has got to be the start. So the start of the expedition was the end of February, where the sun is actually only just coming above the horizon. So it's actually this amazing sunrise/sunset that lasts for about five-six hours and then the sun disappears again. So it doesn't get very high at all.'

What is a Polar swimsuit and why do you need one?

'One of the biggest challenges is when you get to that very thin ice that you might need to actually swim across because you can't stand on it. And so you might have to get dressed into your very special swimsuit'

Expedition to the South Pole

What was the expedition to the South Pole like?

'It only took me 46 days to ski to the South Pole but I had to be disciplined every day. I had to have a good routine. So I would sleep and I'd get up in the morning, I'd have my breakfast, collapse the tent, and then I would ski for about an hour and then break for ten minutes just to have a drink and a bite to eat. And then I would ski for another hour. And I would do that for about 12 hours in a day'

What challenges did you have on the South Pole expedition?

'There were a couple of times on the expedition when I did feel very low because my energy levels were low. I was missing home. But then I had to just sit down on my sledge and remind myself that actually so few people get to go and complete this experience. And so for me, I felt very fortunate. I'd put in a lot of hard work and a lot of training to get to that point'

Find out more about Antony Jinman here