Father, 2 sons complete Antarctic adventure - Soundings Online

Father, 2 sons complete Antarctic adventure

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JULY 24 — A Tasmanian man and his two adult sons aboard a 32-foot sailboat weaved through pack ice and dodged icebergs in the Southern Ocean as they recently sailed from their homeland to Antarctica’s windy CapeDenison.

Jon Tucker, who is 53, and his sons, Ben, 31, and Matt, 21, completed the 3,500-mile round trip aboard Snow Petrel in less than 50 days, news reports say. The trio brought along a video camera and filmed the documentary “Snow Petrel Down Under.”

The men were excited when they saw their first iceberg only 10 days after setting sail, according to reports. Two days later Snow Petrel reached pack ice. Ben Tucker frequently climbed the mast to help guide the boat.

“He’d spot a way through, and we’d steer our way until we got stuck,” Matt Tucker says in a report. “Two or three times we hit dead ends and had to retrace our path.”

A highlight of the adventure came when the weather in the Southern Ocean became colder, according to reports, and chunks of pack ice began to freeze together. The Tuckers decided to put in at a French base, where they encountered a group of expeditioners dressed as Martians during a UFO-themed party.

“It was real trippy. It took about half an hour to register what was going on,” Matt Tucker says.

“Snow Petrel Down Under,” has been shown at a number of film festivals, according to reports.

— Jason Fell