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Visiting Explorer Program with Manuel José Carpintero Manzanares

66º33' south. The dream of the Antarctic Circle

Manuel José Carpintero Manzanares,
President of the Astronomical and Geographical Society of Ciudad Real (Spain)


“There is no law below 40 degrees South; and there is no God below 50 degrees South”
—Old whale hunter’s quote.

Manuel José Carpintero Manzanares, teacher and explorer, is the president and founder of the Astronomical and Geographical Society of Ciudad Real (Spain). He will tell us about his epic adventure sailing the most dangerous seas on Earth, captaining the world-first expedition to reach the Antarctic Circle in a small sailboat only 14 meters in length, without previous stops.

"We have arrived, gentlemen." Those are the words that Manuel pronounced when the GPS digital scoreboard on the ship read 66º33 South. The mythical figure that indicates the beginning of a magical place, different, almost from another world: the Antarctic Circle, where words freeze. In the eyes of the seven crew members of the Santa María polar ship they were reflected cold, hunger, sleep, fatigue, fear and, above all, uncertainty.

This is the story of 5 men from Castilla-La Mancha of the Astronomical and Geographic Society at Ciudad Real (Spain) who are trying to reach the Antarctic Circle, the 66 degrees and 33 minutes South, on board a boat of only 14 meters: Manuel Jose Carpintero, Víctor Gómez, Laureano Serna, Francisco Ruiz and Jorge Pérez.

At 13,000 km from their homes, at the southern tip of South America, the challenge began. It was a journey of around 2,000 nautical miles, which took them through the Beagle Channel, and then through two places most feared by sailors: Cape Horn and the Drake Passage. All this to get to the Polar Circle and then along the Antarctic Peninsula, a hard trip of more than a month.

On expedition, they also managed the first videoconference in history between individuals in the Antarctic and those in space, connecting with the astronaut Michael López Alegria.

This is the story of that incredible adventure.

Date: February 9, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $15

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