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December 09, 2005

Seattle, Washington
I Suppose It’s Time I Let the Cat out of the Bag

So I’m going to Antarctica. I leave in 3 hours.

Sorry to drop that out of the blue and all. I haven’t been able to say anything, but it’s been brewing for a while.

…well, duh. Of course it’s been brewing. Trips to Antarctica generally don’t happen on a whim. A great deal of brewing is required.

I’ve got loads of gear, warm clothes, and plenty of books and videogames to keep me occupied during the voyage across the Drake Passage.

Voyage…there’s a word we don’t get to use enough anymore.

I’ll be flying to Dallas, then down to Buenos Aires. From there I fly to Ushuaia, Argentina; the southernmost town on Earth – not counting research stations, but who counts research stations?

From Ushuaia I hop on a massive Norwegian icebreaker called the Polar Star for the three day cruise to the bottom of the world – or the top if you’re Australian, but who counts Australians?


I’ll be spending 4 days along the Antarctic peninsula – that thin strip that sticks out beneath South America. We’ll be making frequent shore landings on Zodiac boats to take hikes, visit seal colonies, penguin rookeries, historic campsites, and so forth. It has also been suggested that we might do some up-close-and-personal whale watching with humpbacks, orcas, and fin whales; the last of which is thought to be the second-largest animal ever to inhabit the Earth.

This is the start of a very long trip. I’m going to keep the details on the down-low for now and allow them to unfold over time. This site isn’t wherethehellismattgoingtobe.com, after all. I only offer the present tense and, implicitly, the past.

But I will address one question that is absolutely inevitable:

“Jumping Jehosephat! How in thunderin’ tarnation are you payin’ for all this?”
“Well, sir, I’m being supported.”
“By who?”
“Must be some dern good friends. Quit givin’ me the runaround. Where’d you come up with the scratch? Start talkin’!”
“I really can’t go into any more detail at this time.”
“So it’s like that, is it?”
“Look, I’m sorry to have to get all White House Press Secretary, but that’s just the way it has to be right now. My discretion is a small price to pay for this opportunity.”
“Fine! It’s not like there ain’t other web sites out there. I’ll take my time-wasting elsewhere.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”

So if you decide to email me with this question and you happen to be an ornery prospector, you can expect the exchange to play out along those lines.

I failed to transfer all my old entries as I'd hoped to do before leaving. There are many gaping holes in the timeline. I intend to fill them before the year is out.

I have to go now. Packing needs to happen. There’ll be more later…hopefully a great deal more.

In the meantime, enjoy this Norwegian icebreaker.