I led my first trip in 1989. I'd read a book by a German ornithologist, and decided to finish the journey he'd started. I quit my sports marketing job and went to the Arctic Ocean to photograph polar bears. I was conditioned against the cold as a child. My nanny had looked after the son of Captain Scott and put me outside in winter in less and less clothing.
WHAT DOES MANAGEMENT MEAN TO YOU?
It's all in the planning. And that's not just building a few sledges and booking the plane. I'm directing a project to measure for the first time the changes in the sea ice around the Arctic Circle, in February 2009. This was just an idea in my head, so my vision has to resonate from every fibre of my being when I talk about it. Only then can I convince all the relevant parties to come on board. If you can't get the right team or raise the funds, you can't be an explorer.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE/DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love the inventing, the creative element and the science. We've developed ice-penetrating radar and ways of broadcasting live footage of the trip to the rest of the world. I love having these ideas and finding the people to pull them off. But I feel uncomfortable about other people having to work so hard on the project. The actual trips are horrifically awful, but that's just the nature of polar travel.