Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, the Land of Ice - Penguins - Elephant seals - Albatross - and so much more

Magellanic Penguins

It was just about a year ago that I embarked on a long journey to Antarctica.  That was my second trip all the way to the tip of South America and then beyond.

It was a journey of many superlatives:  Seeing 500,000 King Penguins on a beach in South Georgia, experiencing the magnificence of the 9-foot wingspan of albatross when gliding over the water, hearing the King penguin chicks chirp to get food from the parents, maneuvering through a field of fur seals who can sometimes be aggressive, climbing up the uncharted hills to find the albatross nest and chicks, gliding soundlessly over the water when the zodiac's motor was shut off and just observing nature all around me.  There are many, many stories to tell but my memory all came back when I saw this National Geographic video by film maker Richard Sidey [all the way below], that I want to share together with some of my own images from this trip.

I visited the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.  I always said before the trip that the rough voyage through the Drake's Passage is the part of the price of entry - and although we only crossed through it on the return trip to Ushuaia, it was rough and I had never experienced breakers rolling all the way over the ship.  I stood on the captains bridge [behind glass] and felt at times I was under water.  Quite an experience.  I had taken enough antiemetic drugs to be able to be on my feet most of the time - I did not want to miss this!  During the 4+ weeks in the Southern Ocean, I was reminded how
beautiful unspoiled nature is.  Here the animals are not afraid of people, they are often actually curious.  Young elephant seals were approaching me when I sat still on the beach and King Penguins walked just by me, chatting all the way in their funny 'waddle' and 'talk'.  Words fall short of describing the incredible feeling of awe.  It was a journey of a lifetime!  And I feel thankful that I am healthy and fit to be able to journey into far away lands.  It gives me great pleasure to share just a glimpse of the incredible wildlife in the southern hemisphere.
Sit back and enjoy the images!

Cara Cara with chick, Falkland Island

Black-browed Albatross

Black-browed albatross - when these big birds take off, they run across the water until airborne

Juvenile Elephant Seas - a sleeping giant

Landing in Grytviken, South Georgia, in heavy snowfall.  
This is an old whaling station that is now a museum.

Magellanic Penguin

Antarctic Peninsula

Beautiful blue ice of a floating Iceberg

Squabbling Macaroni Penguins


Just above Antarctica, off the island of South Georgia, lies a breeding hot spot for elephant seals and king penguins known as Gold Harbour.  Filmmaker Richard Sidey captures incredible raw footage and the natural sound of this wild bounty for part of his series, Speechless.  With the absence of narrative, the viewer is left to create their own narrative and their own experience, without being told what to think.  "It gives everyone the possibility of seeing these places for what they are without the restrictions of cost and the environmental impact,” he says.

This video was first published by National Geographic on 12 Dec 2014.

Before I sign off for today, I want to thank all of my readers for their continued support, for your comments and notes - that make my day!  At times I wonder if my posts interest you, if anyone even reads them....  but finding a response from you in my inbox, makes all the efforts worthwhile.

Thank you!  You are a wonderful crowd.

As the year nears its end, I wish you a happy Holiday Season and health, fun, happy travel and all the best for the New Year 2015!  I hope to see you all sometime during the next year, maybe for a coffee, maybe for photographing together or just for a chat.

...til then,