Thanks for visiting the AntarcticDoctor blog.

I hope you find it informative and stimulating.

By way of introduction:

I am Ross Hofmeyr, the overwintering expedition leader and doctor for the South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE) at our base in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.  Protected by the international Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the continent is dedicated to peaceful scientific research.  As one of the 12 founding countries, South Africa has contributed to Antarctic science since 1958, and our expedition is part of the ongoing endeavor in diverse fields such as geology, ecology, theoretical, applied and space physics, oceanography, glaciology, engineering and medicine.

Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest, windiest and logistically the most challenging continent on Earth, but it is also incredibly beautiful and valuable.  Each year, hundreds of scientists and support personnel travel to the continent to make use of the brief summer months.  Only a few very fortunate people, however, are able to experience the Antarctic winter.  Across the entire continent, less than 1000 souls winter over in research bases, isolated from the rest of the world.  At SANAE IV, the SA base, a team of 10 lives alone for 10 months from February to December.  We left Cape Town in the beginning of December 2007 and will only return to home soil in late February 2009 – a 15 month odyssey.  This journey, physical, mental and emotional, is the focus of my blog.