“Starboard Cabins” proceed down to level 3 loading area. “Port Cabins” in 5 minutes. Photography Group 10 minutes.
That was our call! Time to be close to the ocean and ice.
Beads of sweat were trickling down my spine as I stood in the chute where we were numbered and checked off – awaiting like parachutists to be spat out of the ship along the gang plank into one of 6 zodiacs; each escorting us through the magnificent ice.
Layered on my skin was a woollen baselayer; then my down vest; then my Quark coat; waterproof snow pants; bini; gloves; 2 cameras hanging on my double harness – each in a waterproof bag should there be any sea-spray; and last but not least – my ‘muck boots – rubberised wet-suit material boots which were mandatory as well and actually not too bad….. oh – not last – I nearly forgot; …my life vest… which so many forgot only to realise when they were standing near the clipboard.
Hanging on THE clipboard to the left of our ‘shute’ was a piece of paper where we each had to initial we were disembarking; then initial we had returned. “Smiley” faces and other forms of hieroglyphics marked our departure and return.The ocean air and adventure brought out the playfulness in so many of us.. ready to play with ice dragons and sea monsters amongst castles of ice-cream !
We were also sailors – so we all used the sailors grip – hands embracing wrists; to transfer from the gang plank to the black rubberised pontoon of the zodiac, and in no time at all we were off… our fading wake becoming a feint thread with our mother-ship.
I was excited to be so close to the water. The fog was thick. We couldn’t see very far – just like me. I was endeavouring to be really in the present. I didn’t have any idea about what I was looking for in the ice – unlike others who had a very clear focus. For me, I just wanted to witness and see what presented itself and evolved.
On this page at this link – Zodiacs and Icebergs; there is a small gallery of some photographs of the first icebergs and ice of our trip. This was to be the beginning of a wonderful photographic adventure for me which gently evolved over the 2 weeks walking and listening to the land and sea.