The Story

We are All Antarctica is a story about my father George W. Gibbs, Jr’s adventures as the first person of African descent to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. He sailed on the famous ship the USS Bear in 1939 to 1941 on Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole. It was the first joint venture with the US military and private exploration. Gibbs went on to serve humanity in countless ways, paving the way for not only people of color in the community of Rochester, MN but for all people to become more human, serve their community and appreciate differences.

Through compassion, tenacity, faith and countless hours in the trenches, Gibbs’ life is a model for community service, equality and fun. As the lowest rank on the ship, he was honored for his contribution at a time when people with dark skin were considered less than human.

This story integrates my experiences with natural healing, the arts, the science of the ice, the metaphysics of the South Pole and the history of the expedition and its mystery.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Food Patterns in Antarctica - Count Down Day 3

No where in the world is food more important than during Polar expeditions. 

Even though my father was part of the mess or kitchen crew on the USS Bear, I never thought this type of position had much to offer history. Probably because of my less than enthusiastic relationship with cooking.  See my guest blog post in The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning.  This book is a fantastic account of two women, Wendy Trusler and Carol Devine, who were a part of an environmental cleanup project on Bellinghausen station, King George Island.  
I happened to be in the same location in 2012, and had no idea of their expedition six years prior.

The blog, Green with Renvy, published beautiful book review of Trusler and Devine's book.  It inspired me to pull a menu from Byrd's III expedition that my father, George W. Gibbs, JR., had a hand in making aboard their 68 year old wooden barkentine sailing vessel-USS Bear.

From Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University Archives:

Planned on August 1, 1939 for the first week at sea ( 11/22/1939)

Breakfast: stewed prunes, hominy grits, condensed milk, chipped beef on toast, fig perserves, buttered toast, coffee

Lunch: local fish stew, local fried fish fillets, french fried potato shreds, cucumber pickles, bread and butter, vitaminized cherry gelatine, and cocoa

Dinner: Rice, rye bread and butter, stuffed olives, bohemian tea, crab apple jelly

You know that chocolate, cocoa, chocolate malt- any way you can make and eat cacao is present in ALL of the polar expeditions.  High fat, high calories and good for your intuition. (according to Yogi J. Oliver Black as reported to me by Dr. Aaron Flickstein)

Finally, the photo is from my 2012 Antarctic trip. We visited an abandoned hut and found what... chocolate! Still edible from years past.  ( I don't have a date)
Near King George Island, Antarctica 2012 -© Leilani Henry


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