Provides a vivid description of the difficulties and dangers of living in an unpredictable and chaotic environment.
By Bruce Luyendyk ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2023
In his memoir, Luyendyk recounts his experience leading a six-person scientific expedition to the remote Marie Byrd Land region of Antarctica. Nicknamed the Mighty Bad Land, the area is a “pure wilderness experienced by few humans” and is known for its extreme temperatures, with zero degrees Fahrenheit being a warm day. The goal of the expedition was to investigate how the southern supercontinent of Gondwana split apart by analyzing rock samples. To do this, the team endured an eight-hour flight to the McMurdo Station on Antarctica’s Ross Island, where they spent two weeks preparing for their journey. The author vividly describes the privations of Antarctic life, from the McMurdo building resembling a “down-market ski resort” to a colony of smelly penguins. The expedition was not without its challenges, including one member falling 100 feet into an ice crevasse and some tense interpersonal dynamics. Luyendyk himself was weighed down by the “weight of responsibility” as leader, feeling “frightened often” and “anxious”. While some of the detail may be too technical for lay readers, the journey is a memorable one, leaving no doubt that “In Antarctica, nothing’s under control.”
Pub Date: May 30, 2023
Page Count: 320
Publisher: Permuted Press
Review Posted Online: June 25, 2023