Antarctica

 

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King penguins at Gold Harbour, South Georgia, in the early part of the Antarctic summer. ©Robyn Mundy

What a crazy and unexpected year 2018 has become, thanks largely to a new part time work role that I happily agreed to, having exploded into a juggernaut. The consolation I hold onto (and it’s a big one) is that my efforts might make a positive difference. But with many hours consumed, I have turned into an absent friend and non-communicator. My work desk, once stacked with writing research and photos and scribbled notes of dialogue, has been taken over by To Do lists and a utilitarian work diary, Week To A Spread. Christmas cards relegated to the side table are gathering dust, remnants of glitter glinting from their envelopes, the senders, still waiting to be acknowledged, unaware of how precious their greetings are to me. (I’m sorry. I’m sorry). A stack of novels waiting to be read occasionally glares at me from my bedside table; they’ve all but given up. I’ve abandoned testy Twitter and gone for Instagram — a voyeur rather than a contributor — because there’s something lovely, and effortless, in ‘liking’ a world of beauty, travel and glee beyond my own.

Well, enough of that. Time to post a few images with a reminder that just back there, just beyond the corner of my sights, lies another world. Antarctica. I hope you enjoy this photo selection from four voyages, November through January, to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. It’s not all blue skies and sunshine. You’ll see a dolloping of wild weather and snowfall which, for those of us onboard, often makes for some of the most memorable moments of all.

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You think getting ready for work takes a long time? For this chinstrap penguin at Hydrurga Rocks, preening is a major undertaking to coat every individual feather and hard-to-get-at spot with waterproofing oil before heading back out to sea. ©Robyn Mundy

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What makes this glacial berg so blue? The bluest ice is often very old ice from far down in the glacier, compressed under tremendous weight. Air bubbles have been squeezed out of the ice, allowing light to penetrate deep into the ice and reflect blue light waves. The penguins don’t mind a bit of blue ice either. ©Robyn Mundy

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About one in every 300 Antarctic fur seals are born blonde. No one but we onlookers seems to take much notice. ©Robyn Mundy

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No getting chubby on one of our Antarctic expeditions. Our boys take healthy eating to heart… 😉

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But our wonderful stewardesses and Hotel Manger sneak a few extra tidbits onto the plates 🙂

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Early season at Enterprise Island, where pancakes of ice form with cold overnight temperatures. Nearing winter, these pans coalesce to form a sheet of sea ice that covers the ocean until the following spring. ©Robyn Mundy

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Skontorp Cove, and who can resist a glacier on a perfectly still morning? ©Robyn Mundy

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Kayaks and Zodiacs lashed down as we cross a wild Scotia Sea. ©Robyn Mundy

 

 

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It’s not only the remarkable place but the people we travel with that makes working in Antarctica so special. ©Robyn Mundy

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18 thoughts on “Antarctica

    • Thanks, Karen. You’d be in heaven! I love those wild crossings and especially watching wandering and black-browed albatross revel in the conditions. They will often tail the ship and arc down between the waves, their wing tips just millimetres above the water. It’s really something. Great to see your images on Instagram!

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  1. Amazing photos Robyn, I really enjoyed seeing these pictures. Those wild seas look intimidating but exciting at the same time. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Sue! I think you have enough of your own ‘wild’ right there at home, with baby possums screaming at you for banana snacks. I really enjoy your posts and you seem to have settled into a very nice format with them. Bravo.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you share these posts, Robyn. They are likely the closest I’ll ever get to Antarctica — and your photos are magnificent. xx

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  3. Oh wow! Thanks a million for these brilliant & beautiful photos, Robyn! and for keeping us, your devoted fans , up-to date with your work, travels , writing and adventures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Judy. Hope all is well with you guys. Looking forward, also, to hearing from AC — have been wondering which continent she is in right now. Best wishes. 👌

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  4. Hey Robyn, I have been wondering what you are up to, as we haven’t heard much for a while. What is the part-time job? Anything exciting? I am in the thick of researching and writing my Antarctic novel set at Mawson in 1987, lots of beautiful people helping: Dave Pottage, Rod Leddingham etc etc. Thrilling times.

    Cheers Dale

    Dale Lorna Jacobsen http://www.dalelornajacobsen.com

    PO Box 456 Maleny Qld Australia 4552

    Mob: +61 (0)413 843 652

    >

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  5. What is it about the stuff we mean to do, need to do, but don’t? Maybe all that other wonderful stuff gets in the way. So great to share at least some of it with you!
    And thanks for the reminder about how precious our world is and how imperative it is for us to do all we can to preserve it.
    Special greetings. Vi
    Love the image with the pancake ice!

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    • Thank you Vi! You and M have some new exciting adventures in store as I recall I am looking forward to seeing some photos. Hopefully a puffin or two! Take care xx

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  6. There really should be a stronger option than ‘like’. I LOVE these photos, Robyn! Thank you for bringing them into our world. And deepest commiserations over the demands of the day job. xx

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