Homage to the wild

Returning home from the icy south, especially at the tail end of an Antarctic summer, is a play of the imagination. I have an image of the ocean already settling with the winter freeze, the penguin rookeries now empty, whales heading north to temperate latitudes, and summer’s window, which tolerates visitors of the human kind, sliding firmly closed.

Every part of Antarctica’s summer offers unexpected rewards. The key is to drag on the insulating layers and get out in it, regardless of the weather. I took the images below during March and April 2019 voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. It is always tempting to single out photos from ‘best weather’ days, but I’ve resisted. The times when we venture out in wind and snow, when the cold bites and the warmth of the ship feels like heaven to return to, are when I feel most alive.

2019-03-22-RM-South Shetlands-IMG_6112

Tabular bergs break from ice shelves far down in the Weddell Sea and travel north with currents to round the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. ©Robyn Mundy

 

2019-03-30-RM-Moltke Harbour-IMG_6941

This katabatic wind sprang to life unannounced in Royal Bay, South Georgia. ©Robyn Mundy

2019-03-30-RM-Moltke Harbour-IMG_6889

On this same day, the trip from shore back to the ship earned a nod to the skill and fortitude of my expedition team mates. ©Robyn Mundy

2019-03-31-RM-Jason Harbour-IMG_7058

I’m a sucker for a spectacular sky. These lenticular clouds at Jason Harbour, South Georgia, demanded a stop in the Zodiac to bring out the camera. ©Robyn Mundy

2019-04-02-RM-Salisbury Plain-IMG_7317

Salisbury Plain, South Georgia. This colony of king penguins with their brown fluffy chicks is a sight to behold. ©Robyn Mundy

2019-03-15-RM-Cuverville humpback-IMG_5584

This young humpback shared itself around our Zodiacs and kayaks for over an hour, spyhopping, rolling, diving beneath each boat and extending a flipper. He/she was so attentive to each of us that my colleague Roger later said, ‘It felt rude to leave.’ Cuverville Island, Antarctic Peninsula. ©Robyn Mundy

2019-03-15-RM-Cuverville humpback-IMG_56102019-03-15-RM-Cuverville humpback-IMG_5509 lowres

Ant2019 by Katherin Jafari

This season we shared a voyage with dear friends from Perth, WA, who embraced Antarctica and got to experience every kind of weather. Good on you, Katherine & Kev! ©Katherine J.

24 thoughts on “Homage to the wild

  1. Stunning photos, Robyn! Brings back wonderful memories of our trip to Antarctica with you and Gary as tour leaders. What an adventure! Plus the bonus of a ‘White Christmas’ in the middle of summer!

    Like

  2. You had my jaw scraping the floor at the photo of those katabatic winds… And then that penguin colony and whale came around! I’m utterly enthralled by the polar regions and photos like these are like catnip to me. Time to dig out Shackleton’s book again!

    Like

  3. Lovely to see your amazing photos Robyn – so spectacular! Hope you get time to return to your writing – The Nature of Ice is still one of my favourite books!
    Warm regards,
    Caroline Horobin

    Like

  4. Thanks for the memory joggers Robyn.. beautiful evocative images. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience this majestic wonderland. Love, Marg x

    Like

    • Thanks Sue. The humpback wasn’t at all scary. Over the years with encounters, and with this one, we constantly remark on how gentle the whales are around our small boats, and how aware they are of their size and position. Given the human history with whaling, and whatever cellular memory the whales still carry from those days, it makes me love them even more. It feels like a privilege to receive a visit from any cetacean. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Robyn
    Must be hard to say goodbye to Polar Pioneer! The photos are great, and I love the atmosphere that non-blue days offer. Thanks for the recap.
    Special wishes
    Vi

    Like

  6. Robyn, spectacular. Thanks Ed and Judy

    On Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 3:01 AM writing the wild wrote:

    > Robyn M posted: “Returning home from the icy south, especially at the tail > end of an Antarctic summer, is a play of the imagination. I have an image > of the ocean already settling with the winter freeze, the penguin rookeries > now empty, whales heading north to temperate la” >

    Like

Leave a Reply to Caroline Horobin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s