A mini-obsession of mine right now is polar exploration. (Not actual polar exploration, just reading about it.) When we were in New Zealand last February, sk and I went to the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch where they have a permanent exhibit about Antarctic exploration
. The most fascinating part was seeing artifacts from early expeditions by Ernest Shackleton
and Robert Scott
. (Seeing their gear in person makes their survival stories even more compelling.) When I got back, I picked up Caroline Alexander's excellent account of Shackleton's failed Endurance expedition (aptly titled The Endurance
), which includes hundreds of photos by Frank Hurley
—the meticulous and talented expedition photographer. I've been reading the book very slowly, taking time to study the incredible photographs. The book text uses diary entries from several members of the crew, and often reads like weblogs. The crew complain about each other, praise each other, and paint a very personal picture of what they were going through.
And speaking of polar blogs, I recently tuned into Ben Saunders' blog
. He's currently training in Greenland for an expedition in October to retrace Robert Scott's 1912 South Pole attempt. He's literally following in the footsteps of the early polar explorers, and posting photos and diary entries along the way thanks to a digital camera and satellite phone. Saunders recently posted about how he's able to blog from the middle of nowhere: Arctic Geeks