With the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival winding down, this was an event to cool our heels on.
Tales From the Ice was brought to us by Dr Rebecca Priestley (VUW NZ) – Dispatches from Continent Seven; Matt Vance (NZ expedition leader) – Ocean Notorious; Alok Jha (ITV science corresponder) – The Water Book and chaired by Simon Wilson (Metro magazine). These books collect experiences of the fragile, beautiful, brutally unforgiving Antarctic Southern Ocean, and the element that makes it all possible; water.
From explorers Captain James Cook and Robert Falcon Scott, early and modern scientists, to modern writers from the Artists to Antarctica Programme such as Bill Manhire and Gregory O’Brien, Dispatches from Continent Seven makes fascinating reading with a scientific flavour.
In Ocean Notorious Matt Vance shares his own experiences of lonely Southern Seas and the Islands and of taking refuge there. Along the way he gathers tales of heroic explorers, sailors, wartime coast-watchers, wildlife and conservationists.
Alok Jha shared the incredible fact that water on Planet Earth originated from meteorites crashing here. By default all life on Earth is Alien!
This panel conveyed a real sense of adventure from the sunny warmth of my festival seat.
“Run the World like we run Antarctica – a co-op.” – Matt Vance.
“Stop (Antarctica) melting. There is still time…” – Rebecca Priestley.
“Help me get back there!” – Alok Jha.