Stefan Covic, an NPD Planner from Coca-Cola Amatil NZ (CCANZ), was awarded one of the two highly sought after Antarctic Youth Ambassadorships by the Sir Peter Blake Trust earlier this year which took him to Antarctica where he lived for a month as a 2014 Blake Ambassador.

Below is a blog post from Stefan, written just after touching down at the Antarctic base.




Hi all,

Hello from Antarctica!

My first 48 hours has been incredible. Wednesday morning I sat at the kitchen bench at 5.30 am contemplating my day ahead, which effectively kicked off at 6.30 for briefing and check in. I knew that my new environment would amaze me, but it has already proven to be well beyond my imagination and I would have to be a literary genius to do accurately describe my experience thus far - I will give you a brief run down.

My day kicked off by checking into the US Antarctic Program Passenger Terminal, where I handed my ID and Departure card to proceed to check in for my flight, bags weighed, good-bys said to Woody from Antarctica NZ and before I knew it I was being whisked away on a bus, dressed in my Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear, ready to board the C17 Globemaster.

My flight was very far removed from any commercial flight for a number of reasons. Firstly, we were seated in a bench seat type configuration down the length of the mostly windowless fuselage, with cargo and luggage stored down the centre. Our flight was delayed on take-off as we had to stop to pick up additional high explosive stock from another loading area when it became clear why were given earplugs - without the luxury of insulation, the aircraft is extremely loud!

During the flight, stretching my legs and peering out the only window, I got talking to a guy named Scott, dressed in US Air Force overalls. I heard that if you are lucky, you can check out the cockpit once up at cruising speed, I thought I would try my luck with Scott. A little while later I was invited up to check out the proportionately large cockpit of the C17 and a bit of a chinwag with the USAF crew - who proceed to inform me that Scotty is a 2-Star General in the USAF and typically receives his orders directly from the White House - it's no wonder that I was lucky to go up and check out the cockpit!

After landing and the boarding procedure was reversed I was greeted firstly by the clear blue sky and the blinding bright ice and Nat from Antarctica NZ. As the reality that I was standing on 'a 200ml thick Ice shelf in Antarctica' started to sink in I found that I was lost for words (again) then made the 30-minute journey to Scott base.

Turning up late (because of the explosives cargo) we were told to get ready as there was a 3 course dinner in the dining room with invited guests including Peter Begg (CEO of Antarctica NZ) Lianne Dalziel, (Mayor of Christchurch), Danny Watson (Newstalk ZB) and other dignitaries from the US Antarctic Program. As my luggage hadn't turned up yet, a pair of borrowed pants scrubbed me up a tad and was ready to get some tukka after a long day.

Going to my room to unpack, I'm excited to discover that my roomies are Danny Watson and Tim Dyer (of Talkback Radio fame) who are down there broadcasting from Antarctica for the week.

I will leave you with that update for now - it's close to 9pm and I'm going to go for a walk while it’s still light (just kidding its always light here in the summer). In the next few days I have to sit my Antarctic driving license, do some field training and hopefully get out to see a bit more of the surrounding area.

Follow Stefan’s entire Antarctic journey here