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A Wenzhouese Reaches Southernmost Point on Earth
             Author:    Source:    PublishTime:01-21-2014     Hits:907
 

Ye Wanqing has a picture taken at the sign of the southernmost point on the earth.

Ye Wanqing Erects a Chinese National Flag at the Union Glacier Camp.

  “It’s really a good feeling to travel to the South Pole! I arrived at the pole (90°South Latitude ) on Dec. 30, 2013 and reached both the South and North poles in the same year…”. These words were posted on his Wechat’s “moments” by Ye Wanqing, one of Wenzhou’s polar-bear swimmers on Jan. 1, 2014. Along with the words, Mr. Ye also showed a photo, in which wearing a mountaineering suit, he stand behind the sign of the Latitude 90°S, extending his two arms seemingly to embrace his dream of travel to the South Pole. To turn the dream true, he has made a long-time and painstaking efforts. It is learned that Mr. Ye Wanqing is the first person who has landed the southernmost point of the earth. On the afternoon of Jan. 13, he returned to this city and released what he had experienced in the South Pole.  

Elaborate Preparations Made for the Journey to the South Pole

Ye Wanqing, aged 58, a native of Wenzhou, has been a polar bear swimmer for over 20 years. He is also a tourism enthusiast, who has been to more than 50 countries and regions. He said frankly that he has long prepared for this time of journey to the South Pole.  

Actually, early in 2012 Nov., he arrived in the South Pole with several local winter swimming lovers, seeing with his own eyes cute penguins swim in the icy waters at 1℃ but to his regret, he failed to stand at the point of Latitude 90°S

In July 2013, also with his fellow polar-bears, Ye went to the North Pole by nuclear-powered icebreaker “50 Years of Victory”, which was named by Russian President Putin and had once carried an Olympic torch. What makes him proud is that this time he set his feet at the spot of true north  (90°North Latitude ) .

 “I must go to the southernmost end of the earth”, Ye Wanqing said to himself with a great determination after returning from the North Pole. Thus, from an on-line American travel club operating the South Pole route, he booked a plane ticket and hired equipment for his travel to the destination.

On the evening of Dec. 22, 2013, Ye waved good-by to his fellow polar bears and embarked alone on his journey from Wenzhou to the South Pole for the second time. He traveled via quite a few cities such as Beijing, Paris and Santiago (Capital of Chile ) to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world, where he met with some members of an American explorers’ club and other travelers, who were also heading for the same continent. Then Ye, forming a team with them, flew to the South Pole Continent.

 “The team has totally 12 members, including a pilot, a doctor and logisticians. They are mainly explorers from Sweden, Germany, Russia and Korea. Some of them are geographers and chemists,” said Ye Wanqing.  

   

Chinese National Flag Erected in the South Pole

Ye said that two legs of journey have to be completed to go from Punta Arenas to the southernmost point of the earth. Therefore, first Ye flew for 3000 kilometers to the Union Glacier Camp (UGC) at the 80 degrees South Latitude, where he took a rest for a period of time, and then flew to the destination on a fine day.

With uncontrollable excitement, Ye recalled how they landed the southernmost end of the earth:“On the early morning of Dec. 30 last year, we arrived in the Pole by airplane. Then we trekked through the thick glacier for over two hours, and finally at 7:03, on the morning of the same day, climbed up and reached the point of the true south (90。South Latitude ) with an altitude of 4000 meters.”

“We were all overexcited, assuming different postures for having pictures taken in front of the sign of the southernmost point of the earth,” added Ye. In addition, Ye Wanqing did one thing solemn --- took out the Chinese National Flag brought with him and erected it at the point.

In less than 24 hours when the team stayed at the point, Ye and the other team members visited a research station jointly built by US and UK, in which science instruments, living facilities, basket ball field, clinic and library were all available. In its dining room, they had a meal of western food including sandwiches, cakes, coffee and milky tea. Then they walked in the open with a temp. of -40 C。for about four hours.  

 “The South Pole landscape is so spectacular that we feel as if we were on the another planet !” Ye exclaimed, “ There, daytime lasts for 24 hours, and white snow is dry and fine. A mist of snow particles can be raised by a gust of wind. Ice crystals with snow flowers among the rocks of icy mountains look breathtakingly beautiful.”      

   

Household Garbage Wrapped and Carried Away

After the activities at the point came to an end, we flew back to the UGC and stayed there for whole 7 days.

Ye said that the camp is the only one open to public in the South Pole Continent. Built in 1985, it is used for accommodating personnel from the nearby research stations. “ We had more fun here than at the point. We could ski, ride snow bikes and stroll on the snow-covered field at the camp,” said he.    

Ye told the reporter that there are no animals or vegetations in the South Pole, and even most microorganisms can hardly survive there. The house garbage we produced there, including wastes discharged from our bodies, had to be wrapped and carried away.

Ye said that in the 8 days when the team members stayed in the Pole, they slept in the hired tents, wore wind coats made of special materials, and thickened caps and gloves; each member was allowed to take one time of bath every 3 days and to use only one pale of water each time; the used water was collected in a tank of one cubic meter.

It took Ye Wanqing 21 days to go from Wenzhou to the South Pole and return. The journey totals 80,000 kilometers, equivalent to circling the earth two times. On the way home, Ye often imaged what the whole earth looks like. “Perhaps, it should be as beautiful and fascinating as the South Pole,”said Ye.    

 “ I will go on traveling around the world, leaving my foot print and bringing with me photos taken. I believe it is worthwhile spending time traveling. ” That is what Ye posted on his Wechat. In the future, he will keep on challenging himself in constant explorations. “I am now learning English very hard to facilitate my future travel abroad. Next, I hope to go around the earth along the equator to experience varied customs of different countries,” Ye noted.    



 
 
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