Planning for ‘Plan B’ and beyond.
In the expedition world it is often said “Anyone can work Plan A; it’s Plan B where the work starts and by Plan C things are getting interesting!” Like many of the mariners we work with, much of our time is spend planning for the worst-case scenario, simply to make sure it’s covered in the unlikely event of an emergency. This forward planning, and our decades working around changing circumstances in every destination, directly impacts the quality of experience our guests enjoy.
Most often, the best-laid plans are those underpinned by solid research and based on hard-won experience. Most importantly, for each day of expeditioning there is a fall back plan, or an alternative activity, or a safe place to wait it out. In days of yesteryear, when the likes of Shackleton or Amundsen set off for months/years at a time, expeditions were likely to be out of touch with home base for almost the entire voyage. Expeditions were entirely self-sufficient and had to plan for as many eventualities as possible. This is reflected in the gear they took. Whereas these days we take equipment for as many eventualities as possible, in the old days they took the raw materials and tools they needed to make the gear required for any situation that might arise.
When an EYOS Expeditions team joins an expedition yacht, they come well prepared. They are equipped with great gear; communications equipment, bear deterrents and firearms (in the Arctic) and stranding kits for both Antarctic and Arctic landings. What’s a stranding kit? It’s a kit-bag full of whatever one might need to keep a party out of the weather and as warm as possible for 48 hours in the event they get stranded ashore, or out in a zodiac. Stranding kits are put together to ensure that should a party be stranded on the beach (by weather, or ice or mechanical failure), they will be able to wait in safety. Shelter, food, warmth, communications are the key elements in any good survival plan, and in remote areas it is essential to ‘bring your own’.
Stranding kits can cost upwards of $2000 each, and can be expensive to maintain, so EYOS Expeditions had a small ‘fleet’ of kits that can be rented out to yachts wanting to conduct landings in either Antarctica or the Arctic. Kits are also available for helicopter operations. For our Arctic clients we can supply bear kits (two .4cal pistols, a 12ga shotgun and a .375 rifle) for use by our guides. For our Antarctic clients we also have the IAATO certified satellite trackers.
Wherever you are headed, we will work with you to make sure that the expedition departs with all of the gear that is required, and can supply much of it right out of one of our own storehouses in Palma de Mallorca or Seattle.