the first woman to ski to the South Pole in 1982, and one of the members of the expedition staff that I will be joining soon, from recent email correspondence with her:
I always find it amazing that, on a day such as this, all the components of a 3-week expedition that have been in the planning process for at least 2 years, are now in place.
People are flying from all directions towards one pinpoint of a destination - Ushuaia, to board a ship that many have never seen. Some are complete strangers while others have known each other for years - but all are with the single purpose of exploring the most mysterious and fascinating place on the planet.
In 3 weeks time, most of us will travel back whence we came. However, all will be smitten and changed forever by our encounter with the magical spell of Antarctica. Our lives are forever changed. It is an affliction for which there is no cure. The only hope is to struggle in an attempt to return, somehow, and in whatever fashion, be it beyond the grave, to be held captive, once again, by Antarctica's icy grasp.
Oh my, I've thought this thought for over 30 years but never put it in writing...