Years of Experience
you don't know Jérôme Poncet...
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.
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.
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)
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
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:
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.
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.
- Private seabird
and botanical surveys: in 1978, '83, '84, '85 at the Antarctic Peninsula,
South Orkneys, South Shetlands and South Georgia (see Scientific Publications).
- BAS (British
Antarctic Survey) in 1985, '86, '88, '90 and '95: Seabird, Seal and Geological
surveys at the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands and South Georgia (see
of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in 1997: Seabird and Seal survey
(see Scientific Publications).
Conservation (1988, 2000): Seabird surveys at Keppel and New Islands, and
Krill survey (2003), Albatross and Petrel Survey (2005,2006), South Sandwich Islands (2011)
- BBC Natural
World (1989): for the TV program "Marathon Birds in Falkland Islands" at
the Falkland Islands (Jason Island).
- BBC Natural
History TV Unit (1992, '93, '96, '97, '98, '99): for the TV programs "Life
in the Freezer", "An Island All Alone", "Blue Planet" at South Georgia,
Antarctic Peninsula, South Sandwich, South Shetlands.
- Anglia Survival
TV (1986): for "Antarctica: The Last Frontier" at South Georgia.
- Les Cinéates
Animaliers (1989): for "L'Arche et le Déluge" (French) at the Antarctic
Geographic Explorer TV (1990): for "Antarctic Wildlife Adventure" at the
Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands.
- BBC (1992):
for the production of "The Really Wild Show" at the Falkland Islands (Beaver
- NHK Japanese
TV production (1994): at the Falkland Islands (Carcass and New Islands).
- Charon Films
(1994): for "Atlanten" (Swedish) at Staten Island, Falklands, and South
- IMAX Natural
History Unit IMAX Production (1994, '95): for ""Survival Island" at South
- TF1 French
TV (2000): for "Ushuaia Nature" a Nicolas Hulot program.
National geographic Antarctic Peninsula, South Sandwich Island
BBC Series, Planet Earth, Life, Frozen Planet (2005 to 2010)
MBC, Korean TV, 2010-2011
First small yacht to enter the Weddell Sea in 1999.
First Surfing in Antarctica in 2000.
Snow-Boarding in South Georgia in 2001
Reindeer Capture and Translocation from South Georgia to Falklands (2002)
du Spitzberg au Cap Horn" by Gérard Janichon (1973 - Arthaud, France)
icebergs et mers australes" by Gérard Janichon (1974 - Arthaud, France)
l'Antarctique à la voile" by Gérard Janichon (1975 - Arthaud, France)
- "Damien autour
du Monde, 55 000 milles de défis aux océans", by Gérard Janichon (1998 -Transboréal,
These "Damien" books have been translated into several languages.
- "Le Grand
Hiver - Damien II, base antarctique " by Sally Poncet (1982 - Arthaud, France)
(2nd edition 2000 - Transboréal, France)
- "Life in
the Freezer, a Natural History of the Antarctic" by Alastair Fothergill
(1993 - BBC Books), named after the famous TV series.
Ocean Cruising" by Sally and Jérôme Poncet (1991 - Self publication with
funds from Voiles & Voiliers and Australian Geographic)
Encounter - Destination South Georgia" by Sally Poncet and Ben Osborne (1995
- Simon & Schuster, USA)
- Jean Baptiste
- "Le Français
au Pole Sud" (1906 - Flammarion, France)
- "Le Pourquoi-Pas?
dans l'Antarctique" - by J.B. Charcot (1910 - Flammarion, France)
Voyage of the «Pourquoi-Pas?»" - based on the J-B Charcot's journal
(1978 - Australia)
le Gentleman des Pôles" by G. Janichon and B. Heimermann (1991 - Pen
- Raymond Rallier
- "15 000
in a Ketch" by R.Rallier du Baty (1910 - Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.,
- "Le Voyage
de la Curieuse" by R. Rallier du Baty (1911 - Vol. 37 of La Géographie,
France) Now translated into French: "Aventures aux Kerguelen" - Ed.
Maritimes & d'Outres-Mer
- PENOLA: "Southern
Lights" by John Rymill (1939 - Travel Book Club, England)
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).
- Boyd I.L.,
Walker T.R. and Poncet J. (1996): Status of Southern Elephant Seals at South
Georgia. Antarctic Science 8(3):237-244.
- Convey P.,
Morton A. and Poncet J. (1999): Survey of Marine Birds and Mammals of the
South Sandwich Islands. Polar Record
V, Poncet S. and J. (1990): Additional and Revisited localities of Vascular
Plants in the Antarctic Peninsula Area. Arctic and Alpine Research Vol 22
- McCann T.S.,
and Rothery P. (1988): Population Size and Status of the Southern Elephant
Island Seal (Mirounga leonina) at South Georgia, 1951-1985. Polar Biology
- Poncet J.
(1997): Distribution and Abundance Survey of Seabirds and Seals at South
Sandwich Islands in the Scotia Sea. Government of South Georgia and South
Sandwich Islands Publication
- Poncet S.
and J. (1985): A Survey of Penguin Populations at the South Orkney Islands.
British Antarctic Survey Bulletin 77:109-129
- Poncet S.
and J. (1987): Censuses of Penguin Populations of the Antarctic Peninsula,
1983-87. British Antarctic Survey Bulletin 68:71-81
- Poncet S.
(1994): A Preliminary Investigation of South Georgia's Sealing Beaches.
- Smith R.I.L.
and Poncet S. (1985): New Southernmost Record for Antarctic Flowering Plants.
Polar Record 139:426-427
- Smith R.I.L.
and Poncet S. (1987): Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis in
the Terra Firma Islands. British Antarctic Survey Bulletin 74:31-35
P. et al. (1996): An Ecological Atlas of South Georgia. British Antarctic
- Woehler E.J.
(1993): The Distribution and Abundance of Antarctic and Subantarctic Penguins.
Kevin Lawrence (Veterinary Surgeon)(2002) Reindeer Translocation Expedition
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.
- January 2011: First mate, “Golden Fleece” voyage to South Sandwich Islands for combined photography/science expedition.
- September-October 2010: First mate/dive assistant, “Golden Fleece” MBC Korean film expedition to South Georgia. Assistant to underwater cameraman.
- November 2010: participated in coastal marine survey of South Georgia as scientific diver based aboard FPV “Pharos SG”.
- February-March 2010: First mate/dive assistant, “Golden Fleece” voyage to Antarctica with BBC NHU for filming of killer whales predating on minke whales. Part of the BBC dive team.
- January 2010: Skipper, “Golden Fleece” voyage to South Georgia for combined scientific/artistic group.
- January-March 2009: First mate/dive assistant, yacht “Golden Fleece” voyage to Antarctica supporting BBC NHU film crew filming for Frozen Planet series. Involved with day to day running of the vessel, assisting the film crew with zodiac and shore-based filming, supervising and participating in diving operations.
- November-December 2008: Skipper, yacht “Golden Fleece” voyage to South Georgia supporting BBC NHU film crew filming for Frozen Planet series.
- March-April 2008: Crew, “Golden Fleece”, tourism voyage to Antarctica, visiting Peter 1st Island and reaching 69°40’ S.
- November-December 2007: Skipper, “Golden Fleece” for tourism/photographic voyage to South Georgia.
- November 2006-January 2007: Skipper, “Golden Fleece”, second year of South Georgia Government ACAP petrel survey, in charge of vessel and survey logistics for a census of the Giant Petrel population of South Georgia.
- November 2005-January 2006: Skipper, “Golden Fleece”, first year of South Georgia Government ACAP petrel survey, South Georgia.
- May-August 2005: Crew and periodically skipper, yacht “Pelagic Australis”, voyage from Maine (USA) to Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland and Lancaster Sound (Canada).
- November-December 2004: Skipper, “Golden Fleece”, two voyages to South Georgia.
- June-September 2004: Crew, “Pelagic Australis”, voyage from UK to Norway and Svalbard.
- November 2003-February 2004: Skipper, yacht “Ada II”, Albatross census of South Georgia.
- November-December 2000: Skipper, “Golden Fleece”, rat eradication trial and albatross survey in South Georgia.