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Destinations ..Antarctica ..South Georgia ..South Sandwich Islands ..Tierra del Fuego ..Falkland Islands ..Other Sub-Antarctic

40 Years of Experience

If you don't know Jérôme Poncet...

Jerome Poncet at the wheelHaving been sailing around the Antarctic area for the last 40 years, Jérôme Poncet is certainly the person who best knows the Antarctic Peninsula and all the islands of the Scotia Sea.

A Pioneer in the Southern Latitudes:

Known first for a 5 year round-the-world trip he accomplished in his early 20s along with his friend Gérard Janichon (from 1969 to 73) on board "Damien", a 10,10m cold moulded wooden sloop they had built.

First small yacht to reach Spitzbergen (1969), to reach the Antarctic Peninsula all sound and to sail below the Antarctic Circle (1973) - Received the "Médaille de l'Ordre du Mérite" in 1973 (the French equivalent of a Knighthood) on their return to France.

In 1974-75 Jérôme built "Damien II", a 15,20m-steel yacht suited to the type of navigation he had most enjoyed: Antarctica and the high southern latitudes. He has lived on "Damien II" with his wife and increasing family (his first son was born aboard) for the 12 following years, from Europe to Brazil, Polynesia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and to Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic islands.

In the meantime, he participated in several Races such as the Whitbread in 1973-74 (Safety), Saint Malo-Cape Town in 1975 (Skipper), Rio-Southampton in 1975-76 (Skipper), Whitbread in 1981 (Safety)

First yacht to winter in Antarctica in 1978-79 and still the only yacht to have wintered so far South (67°45'S). Since then, about 30 "Damien II" have been built around the world.

In 1987 he settled down with his family on a little sheep farm on an isolated island in the Falklands, a place close to his favorite areas of sailing, to nature and to a lifestyle he and his wife wished to have with their children.

40 years of experience in the Antarctic area:

Jérôme observing Elephant Seals

With his wife, Sally, an Australian biologist, he sailed to many places unveiling the extraordinary richness of wildlife and developed his passion and knowledge of seabirds. They started conducting private botanical and seabird surveys, slowly becoming experts. They were soon asked to conduct scientific surveys, which in turn lead to filming and photographic expeditions. Little by little, with growing and interesting demands for new kinds of voyages in the area, Jérôme extended his activity to other sorts of expeditions (films, reports, adventure, etc.). He is the first to start offering the possibility of exploring and enjoying this extraordinary and remote part of the earth by yacht.


Previous Expeditions:

Scientific expeditions:

Jérôme Poncet has conducted several independent or commissioned surveys, or as a logistical support and/or research consultant.

His son Dion Poncet has accompanied him for most of these voyages and has skippered many himself in the last decade.

Film expeditions:

Nesting Gentoo Penguins

Other notable expeditions:




Further Books:

Press articles:

Many articles have been published by or about Jérôme or Sally Poncet. Among them: National Geographic (USA), Australian Geographic (Australia), Voiles & Voiliers (France), Neptune (France), Géo (France), Cruising World (USA), Experimental (Greece), Die Yacht and Geo Deutschland (Germany), Zeilen (Netherlands).

Scientific Publications:


Born in South Georgia, Dion Poncet.......

Dion Poncet
Originally born aboard the yacht "Damien II" in South Georgia, Dion accompanied his family on many of their early pioneering voyages and spent his childhood aboard boats in the southern ocean. At the age of 20 he first skippered the "Golden Fleece" for a voyage to South Georgia and for the past decade has taken an active part in the running of the boat both as crew and skipper. He has also worked professionally on other yachts in the same area, as well as Svalbard, Greenland and Arctic Canada.

Dion is also a keen diver with experience of polar waters and has worked as assistant for several productions involving underwater filming in South Georgia and Antarctica. In the Falkland Islands he is involved with the Shallow Marine Surveys Group, a scientific organization that is currently studying the diversity and abundance of inshore marine life principally through scientific diving. The group has recently conducted an inshore marine survey in South Georgia.

Previous Expeditions:


A Leopard seal

Other Sites of Interest


Golden Fleece
Expedition Cruises

Falkland Islands