Sunday, December 14, 2008

Antarctica research trip 2008

Photo of Linda in Antarctica

Glorious light, icebergs adorned with penguins, humpback whales surfacing to take a peak, elephant seals lumbering across a gravel spit, gentoo penguins feeding their recently hatched twins. There are so many memories from this trip. And many ideas for future paintings.
There is a saying, "getting there is half the fun." Well, getting there was certainly interesting. Imagine a small ship, carrying a little over 100 passengers. Now, picture this ship sailing across the Drake Passage, known for its casualties. Then, put yourself on this vessel, add winds up to 112 miles an hour and seas up to 45 feet. Now, walk down the corridor, or try to stop yourself from careening out of bed, or try to keep some (or any) dinner ware from flying off the table. You have entered the "Drake Zone." And, step outside and attempt to take pictures of the albatross gliding alongside in the wind, or the petrels skimming the surface of the waves towering above the horizon.
We were lucky in one sense. Though we couldn't make all the landings originally scheduled, we did have that rare opportunity to visit the east side of the Antarctic peninsula and did make two continental landfalls. The high winds gave us magnificently clear skies along with astonishing visibility for our other zodiac landings. And, I returned with 1000's of exciting photos and dozens of painting ideas.
Paintings from this trip will be posted as I finish them. I can't wait to start!
By the way, Antarctica was my last continent, so now I have visited all seven in researching the flora and fauna for my paintings.