It had been 12 years since our only trip to the Antarctic Peninsula. This trip was a gift to ourselves, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Our previous excursion had been with Lindblad on the boat now known as National Geographic Explorer. While the 30 foot seas on that crossing were manageable, we decided to fly to the peninsula this time, through Antarctica 21 and travel aboard the Ocean Nova. If we had left a week earlier (our original plan), we would not have made it out of Punta Arenas, Chile, due to severe fog. Luck was on our side. The two hour flight to the very short gravel runway at Frei Station went without a hitch.
An added bonus to leaving a week late was a full moonrise and setting, with low winds and lovely coloration. It was an intense week, with the day often starting at sunrise, shooting until breakfast. With batteries recharged and images downloaded, we were ready for several long daytime excisions. There was just enough time to charge the batteries again, download and clean the equipment for the next day. Evenings were spent on the panorama deck on the top of the boat, with small huddle sessions with photo pros and instructors on the trip. Sessions were often interrupted by whale sightings or interesting light, before the late sunset.
12 years ago, I had just purchased my first digital SLR. It was the 6.1 megapixel Nikon D100. This time around, I was sporting the 36.2 megapixel Nikon D800. It is vastly superior in every way. I am pleasantly surprised to see that some of my old images held up to scrutiny and I include a small handful in the gallery, alongside the new images. See if you can tell the difference.
As before, the always changing weather, clouds and light were a delight, as were the animals, most of which were seemingly oblivious to our presence. Zodiac cruises through massive iceberg fields was akin to viewing sculpture at the world’s best outdoor museum.
P.S: More stories and Antarctica pics available on Marie’s blog at: