Polar Mariner

Polar Mariner : Beyond the Limits in Antarctica

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Captain Woodfield made 20 seasonal voyages to the Antarctic on three research ships between 1955 and 1974. Starting as a Junior Deck Officer he worked for The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey which in 1964 became the British Antarctic Survey. He played a paramount role in the gradual change from using under-powered and poorly-equipped ships to the professionally-managed and sophisticated vessels of his last command. The arts of exploration and survival during his early years in this majestic but unforgiving continent are described as attempts were made to establish research stations, support science, and survey in totally uncharted, ice-filled waters amidst often ferocious weather. Dramatic stories are featured such as the near loss of a ship in pack ice, the stranding of another in hurricane force winds and the collapse of an ice-cliff onto the vessel The pioneers of Antarctic exploration, the area's history, the hardships and incredible achievements of those original seafarers are described.Yet polar navigation during the author's years was not without peril and the near loss in ice of his first ship, the RRS Shackleton, the demise of her Master, and his ill-judged replacement and consequent dramas are fully told.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 244 pages
  • 169 x 240 x 11mm | 581g
  • Whittles Publishing
  • Caithness, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 18 black & white halftones, 24 colour illustrations, 7 maps
  • 1849951667
  • 9781849951661
  • 371,739

About Captain Tom Woodfield

Captain Woodfield went to sea aged 16, joined the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and subsequently became the foremost Polar navigator of the century, attaining the furthest South for any vessel in the Weddell Sea. He joined the Board of Trinity House, sailed in a Round the World Yacht Race, supported Sir Ran Fiennes on his Transglobe venture and sailed with Sir Robin Knox Johnston in the Sail Training vessel, Malcolm Miller. He served on Antarctic and Falkland Island advisory committees and lectured on those topics.show more

Review quote

'...this is a fascinating description of the "other side" of the Antarctic research and logistical support that we encountered... It is remarkably detailed...with plenty of tales to keep you turning the pages'. Cool Antarctica -------------------- '...a dramatic story of true endeavour and exploration in the footsteps of the early pioneers. ...Woodfield plays a great part in bringing the red ships and their crews to prominence'. International Harbour Masters' Association -------------------- '...a well written book with innumerable references to the places, people, ships and events of the Antarctic continent and its adjacent waters'. Paul Ridgway, Ports and Ships -------------------- '...provides an insight into an exclusive world which few have experienced. ...the illustrations provide a dramatic impression of the challenging, inhospitable and exciting ice scape of Antarctica... ...makes fascinating reading. ...a unique insight... ...I have no problem in fully recommending the book to all who have interests in ships, the Southern Oceans and polar expeditions.' South West Soundings -------------------- 'One of the most interesting books by a seafarer seen in recent years...' IFSMA Newsletter -------------------- 'Well-written and beautifully illustrated...will undoubtedly be hooked from the first page with its atmospheric account of arrival in Stanley Harbour. ...this book should be required reading for any seaman or surveyor heading for the Southern Ocean. This is indeed an adventure story, full of exciting incident and colourful characters. ...this important book'. Soundings -------------------- 'This book is more than a good read, it is an education'. Warships -------------------- '...written in an engaging style but with considerable detail. ...richly illustrated... ...is well-written and illustrated. It has an engaging mixture of the nautical and the personal...with added doses of history, science and politics. South Georgia Association Newsletter -------------------- 'The events the explorers experienced were riveting... I strongly recommend the book, it has given us a new understanding of an amazing territory'. John H H Bradbury, C.B.E. -------------------- '...Capt Woodfield beautifully describes the voyages he undertook... Across 13 detailed and immersive chapters he captures and entwines the progress of his career...with the untouched landscapes that opened up before him. Capt Woodfield's unparalleled experiences give his first-person account of his travels south an engaging angle on what is a fine example of nautical storytelling'. Nautilus Telegraph -------------------- '...this wonderful book which tells a tale of human endeavour which is rarely seen today. ... The book tells dramatic tales, such as the near loss of a ship in pack ice, the stranding of another in hurricane force winds and the collapse of an ice-cliff onto the vessel'. Burnley Expressshow more