Friday, February 20, 2015

Ice Land - Return to the Antarctic Peninsula

64°28'31" S 61°42'34" W. January 30, 2015

I started this blog nine years ago in part to share my photos and stories of trips to Antarctica to a wider group of friends and family than I could manage through occasional emails. That purpose was the genesis of the "Ice" portion of the blog name  - I was working in the prairie as well as "The Ice." My trips to The Ice slowly faded away as other portions of my life took over, but I didn't realize how much time had passed without a trip to the far south until last year. It suddenly dawned on me that it had been six years since I had last experienced summer in the middle of winter. The desire to experience the smell of penguin guano in the morning (and everything else associated with the chance to experience that olfactory assault) began to fester.  I had to figure out a way to return. The culmination of that desire resulted in an offer to join Oceanwide Expeditions as a guide for two trips on the Plancius, one of Oceanwide's two tour ships operating in the Antarctica, thanks to some friends who are still doing these journeys. The other factors that needed to align and allow me to leave Montana for 5 weeks - work and family - fell into place. Many times during the weeks leading up to my departure I had the feeling that this trip just wasn't going to happen and that there would wind up being something that would foil my return south. But then I was on the plane and before I knew it I was watching the full moon reflect in the dark waters of Florida on my overnight flight to Buenos Aries, Argentina. It really was happening again.

I intend to have a number of blog posts that will be based on this trip. I am not sure how long this material will last or how long it might take me to get these done (work and family are now taking back the weeks they generously donated last month).  This rest of this first post is going to be an homage to The Ice with a number of photos of just that - the dominant feature of the Antarctic landscape and a factor in the life of any creature that inhabits that most beautiful continent - ice.

64°48'8" S 62°42'26" W - Mouth of Neko Harbor. January 11,2015

65°4'50" S 64°3'23" W - Large Ice Arch in an area with many large icebergs near Pleneau and Booth Islands. January 12, 2015

63°30'10" S 56°53'9" W- Near Brown Bluff. January 29, 2015

63°30'14" S 56°53'22" W - Near Brown Bluff. January 29, 2015

64°27'55" S 62°14'10" W - Near the south end of  Brabant Island. January 10, 2015

64°28'10" S 62°14'49" W Near the south end of Brabant Island. January 10, 2015

64°30'12" S 62°20'24" W - Near the south end of Brabant Island. January 10, 2015

64°48'42" S 62°40'4" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°49'16" S 62°38'5" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°8'51" S 60°57'41" W - Cierva Cove. January 30, 2015

64°8'48" S 60°57'34" W - Cierva Cove. January 30, 2015

64°30'9" S 61°45'43" W - January 30, 2015

64°30'9" S 61°45'41" W. January 30, 2015

65°4'42" S 64°3'27" W - Near Pleneau and Booth Islands

64°49'50" S 62°52'15" W - Near Waterboat Point. January 11, 2015

64°51'12" S 62°52'32" W -  Paradise Bay. 

64°48'53" S 62°39'26" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°49'16" S 62°38'5" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°49'17" S 62°38'1" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°48'8" S 62°42'26" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°49'0" S 62°39'1" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

64°49'16" S 62°38'5" W - Neko Harbor. January 11, 2015

The Sentinel.  64°29'57" S 61°44'8" W


Cat Urbigkit said...

Stunningly beautiful work John.

Peculiar said...

Nice, John! So glad you had the opportunity to get back down there. (I know the feeling - sure would like to guide a Selway trip one of these days.) It's nice to return to amazing places with several more years of photo experience under your belt, no? You've got some great images here, can't wait for more!

Bob Martinka said...

Great to relive the experience through your wonderful images, John!!

John Carlson said...

Thanks all, I am glad you enjoy the photos. One of the bonuses for this trip was that I was able to enjoy the presence of a wonderfully creative photographer, Sandra Petrowitz. Her view, perspective, and creativity, which she graciously shared, were an inspiration and challenge for me to look at things a bit differently. I really enjoy being around other creative people because of what I gain from their perspective - and that includes the present company in this list of folks who have commented here. I just wish I would have had more time to focus on the photography - it was a bit frustrating at times to try to squeeze it in in between shepherding passengers past aggressive fur seals or pulling them out of penguin colonies.

Blazingstar said...

Awe-inspiring photos, as always!

I'm giggling at the thought of you pulling passengers out of penguin colonies.....

Josh Wallestad said...

Fascinating trip, John! The photogographs are stunning; that has to be one of the best header images I've seen. Looking forward to more of the photos and stories, especially of rescuing people from penguins!

John Carlson said...

Thanks Josh. Not so much rescuing people from penguins, but penguins from people. i think there might have to be another blog post on this....