In 1967, following my return from the Antarctic, I decided to have my ‘Antarctic Journal’ typed with a view to having it published. The mission failed despite the fact that Sir Vivian Fuchs, then Director of the British Antarctic Survey, liked what he was able to read of the ‘book’ and even offered me the services of his literary agent.
Now, in 2020, the storey behind the book is closest, historically, to those accounts written in the 1950s by Kevin Walton and Ellery Anderson, that is when dogs and dog sledging was the principal means of transport, when communication with the outside world relied on a short telegraph on one’s next-of-kin and the arrival, annually, of ship-borne mail and when the normal tour of duty was two years.
Therefore, this book represents a brief period of time in the history of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (F.I.D.S.) and British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S) when the decision was taken to establish a field station at Fossil Bluff, situated approximately half way down the eastern coast of Alexander Island, in order to survey, topographically and geologically, the little explored Alexander Island and the adjacent part of the Antarctic Peninsula.
And so, in late February 1961, Cliff Pearce, John Smith and myself volunteered to become the first to over-winter at Fossil Bluff, a daunting prospect but one to which all three of us looked forward with eager anticipation.