imagegen (9)Hugh Bowring blog:

5.45pm. Sitting on the sofa at home in Sussex, feeling so far removed from all the action over there in Cape Town. Despite regular contact with the guys on the ship, being part of the operations team in England can feel poles apart from the rest of the crew at times. Am I sad? Lonely? Bored? No, not really. Jealous? Now that’s probably getting closer to the mark.

Helping the team plan for what begins in earnest at 8am tomorrow morning has been exhilarating and a privilege, but it has left me wanting for so much more. Hearing the guys tease me with their messages about the heat in Cape Town does little to rile me; thoughts of them plunging into the depths of an Antarctic winter, however, fills me with a strange mix of amicable envy and enormous pride.

During the months ahead, Tris Kaye and I will be the Ice Team’s principle link to the outside world, transferring to you all images and news from the ice. We want to make this expedition as real to our fans as we possibly can. If you like the things we are doing, please tell us. It’s always nice to know when we’re doing well! But if we’re not doing enough or leaving out things you feel are important then we want to know about that too.

Up until now, all posts and pictures have been about getting ready. Tomorrow the expedition is starting in earnest. Rough seas, freezing temperatures and total isolation lie just days away from the team. We hope you will stay with us for what we hope will be the greatest adventure of our age.

Best wishes to all,