54 17'S 036 30'W. South Georgia, Southern Ocean.

Follow Matt Kenney during his deployment in South Georgia, working as a Boating Officer and Coxswain for the British Antarctic Survey.

Read Matt's posts with news, reviews and extracts from his Journals, and see photo and video posts to show you some of the work the Antarctic Survey are doing in the Southern Ocean, and also provide an insight into life on a British Antarctic research station.

Matt will also provide accounts of his work at sea and ashore on Humber Destroyer RHIBs and 11m twin jet drive Pilot vessels along side the team at the King Edward Point research facility.

Matt arrived in South Georgia on the 28th October 2010.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Well just got back from the Reading Music Festival!  Late night last night so this is going to be fairly short :-)
Reading, for anyone who is unfamilier (and I know there wont be many of you) is one of the biggest and greatest music festivals the UK has to offer, sitting on a par with the ledgendary Glastonbury according to most.  Reading has periodically hosted a music festival since 1961, and I have to say, it is showing its wisdom and experience as an event, being very well organised, with an infectious atmostphere, great music, and attended this year by some 120,000 people.

Afew beers were sunk this weekend.  Got to hit the gym next week....

Big thanks to the boys; Leon, Pearson, Nicky B, Carro and Alex for an amazing time......

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

My new custom Oakley Straight Jacket sunglasses.

Ive just designed and ordered these bad boys via the awesome Oakley website......

Frame:  Smoke Grey                                                              
Lens: Gold Iridium
Lens Etching: Matt Kenney                                                                
Oakley Icon: Gunmetal Grey
Earsocks: Rootbeer                                                                            
Lug/Band: Matte Black

Set me back £175 but should be worth every penny. They're expected to take 5-7 days to arrive and there will be a thorough  product review when they do :-) 

Check out Oakley's website here

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


As I mentioned in a previous post, I was kitted out with all my "going south" gear at the BAS clothing store in Cambridge.  Paul the clothing store guy was ultra efficient and in no time I was trying things on, and checking things out; it really did feel like the best christmas ever being handed over £1000 worth of top quality technical clothing and footwear! The compliment including base layers, mid layers, salopettes, Jackets, Thermal boiler suits, work wear, trousers, snow googles, sunglasses, gloves, balaclavas, woolen socks, pocket knife, water bottles etc etc, and 2 pairs of boots.  The whole issue goes into the kitbag for loading in the Ship's hold, but I took the boots away to start wearing them in:  A great pair of CAT work boots and an equally nice pair of Meindl hunting boots - they seem perfect for the varying terrain of SG.

My new CAT steel toe, waterproof work boots for the boatshed.

Meindl Glockner GTX - Gortex, waterproof and bulletproof!
.Both Photos taken by Me on my Samsung D73.
I will be bedding these in and expect a product review or two over the next few weeks.  They may even get tried on the North Yorkshire Moors in September.  Just gotta clean them thoroughly before their trip to SG due to very stringent anti - bio contamination measures.  Even so much as a foreign (i.e. British!) seed pod can upset the natural balance on South Georgia!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Happy Snapper....

Well, today I got to indulge in my first big purchase. One essential piece of equipment to my journey is a new Digital SLR camera, for all the stunning scenery South Georgia has to offer.

After plenty of indecision, reading reviews, asking friends and collegues, it boiled down to 2 contenders. The Canon EOS 50D and Nikon D90. In all respects 2 very similar cameras. The Canon is bulkier and abit heavier, but felt tough, but is more expensive than the Nikon. Now I am new to high end digital photography but it didnt take me long to realise there are 2 major camps and you fit into either one or the other. The rivalry between Nikon and Canon photgraphers is surprisingly akin to Portsmouth-Saints, Celtic-Rangers, Chevy-Ford...... the only difference is that the Canon-Nikon camps are sepaerated by almost indefinable differences. It really, so I am told, comes down to personal choice. It is perhaps telling that out of 6 very keen amateur and semi professional photographers I consulted, 5 were Nikon, and only one sat firmly in the Canon camp. Even he admitted the Nikons had caught up at the very least, and would consider a D series. It seems that most say that you have to feel each one, touch it, press the buttons, hold it up to shoot, and one will "talk" to you more than the other, and thats the one you choose........ BUT........ the thinking man will always choose the Nikon path.

Well, not feeling the Zen, I kinda slipped tripped and fell into the Nikon camp, and I am now the Very proud owner of a Nikon D90 with an 18 to 105mm kit lense, and a 30-300mm Telephoto. Its lovely, and despite not actually testing it for real yet, I am happy to pin my colours to the Nikon mast. Come on you REDS!

Here she is.....
See the brochure HERE!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Cradle to the slave

Well, my first post. Preparations for South Georgia are progressing well. The car (my faithful VW Polo) went this morning to an Aircraft Engineer from Somerset and in its place sits hard cash. I overlook the Queens gracious gait because in fact this is a new camera, laptop, clothing, sacks, macks, bits and bobs. Honestly, the thought of spending afew guilt-free pounds on stuff fills me with joy, and it is a shame I will be otherwise engaged at the Coastguard station tomorrow as the London Camera Exchange among others would have been emptied by a fayre-paying highwayman, intent on making their's his own, but smiling politely and even handing over the Nectar card. And not a penny on "the knock".

Last week I was invited by BAS to attend a dental examination, chest xray and kit out at the Cambridge offices. In the absence of my VW, I am borrowing my sister in laws Jeep Cherokee 4.0 "armoured personel carrier". It actually worked out cheaper to hire a small car and fuel it, than it would have been to put fuel in the Jeep. So hire I did. A Citroen C2. Enough said about that the better. The chest Xray and Detal inspection went well. It bought home to me how much nicer private health care is. I am a supporter of the NHS, but customer care is of such a higher quality, and the ques... well there wernt any. On the other hand, I may not be so slanted to private health if I was the one receiving the bill and the end of the day. The up-shot was, my teeth are good, but he wants me to floss 4 times a week. Possible more on flossing later...

There are lists upon lists of things Ive identified need doing, or sorting out between now and the 22nd.  My flats need sorting out, tenents secured, belongings packed away for storage, contracts to end, amend and send, things to buy, things to sell, things to swap, resignations to resign, more lists to create, etc etc etc etc etc.....

I will post a packing special edition shortly outlining what I intend to take.... But until then im out of the comfort zone and running just to stand still.....

Matt Kenney 2010.