Jen communicating with the locals (pic: Shane Mitchell)

Jen communicating with the locals (pic: Shane Mitchell)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jungle Jen Reflections

Well, We are officially into the last month..


The last month until the ship is SUPPOSED to arrive to swap new people in and take us home to warm ground, warm weather and warm welcomes... but as we all know, schedules in Antarctica are all subject to the "Antarctic "A" Factor"....

its quite similar to Murphy's law.

but colder.

The penguins are due back this week, the seals are beginning to congregate, a little later than we expected, and we should start to see some seal pups around the traps looking soft and lovely and gorgeous, all ready to pose for our eager cameras desperate to capture that one last perfect portrait of an icy wilderness still striking out for it's solid significance in our lives and hearts.

for example.

Last weekend:

Blew my mind.

Deep Lake Reflections, Vestfold Hills, Antarctica (c) J.Feast
I took thousands of photos and felt like I lived three lifetimes in one four day trip out into the field. We (boy and I) visited Brooke's Hut, Deep Lake, Davis (for bread and birth control- two things you don't forget on a trip to the field...) Icebergs, Ace Lake, Every other single lake in Long Fjord, Tryne Fjord, Platcha Hut, Breid Basin, Lichen Lake, Stalker Hill, Lake Zvezda, Bandits Hut, Michelson's Cairn, Iceberg Alley... and you don't even know what all that means! We went ice climbing, ice skating, I practically crawled three km on my stomach over frozen fresh water lakes because I could not steal my eyes away from the amazing bubble formations captured in the ice as it froze. We saw sunsets, seals, we had picnics amongst icebergs.,.. And all of this, with clear blue skies and not a breath of wind.

I could have cried.

It is really easy when you live in an isolated place for a long time to forget the reasons for coming here, and become embroiled in the crap and politics that goes hand in hand with living in a small confined space (can of sardines) with the same people day in day out for 16 months. Some days, its hard to retain that positivity and awe at a place that changes subtley and often, and its really difficult to stop this version of reality becoming the "norm".

-15 degrees C is now classed as "Warm"

Rocks have become beautiful.

Nobody blinks an eyelid at spending 20mins of your evening infront of the heater defrosting the olive oil so you can cook dinner.

You know you're in Antarctica when you see grown men ... 
... ... ... ... ice skate.

But this "weekend" (Saturday night after work (10:30pm) driving through thick snow so we could wake up at Brookes Hut the following day- until Wednesday night, extended due to the most amazing blue skies, dimpled with the most sumptuous sunset bathing spectacular iceberg alley in soft light...oh!) I think this weekend may have changed my life.

For the first time in a long time I actually thought twice about wanting to go home.

Now I understand why people keep coming back to this place.

So. I thought, after beginning to sort through the 35GB of photos I took in four days (beat that!) I thought I would share a couple of the early photos of the trip. Just something to tide you over. And something to remind me why I am here, and why in four weeks time, its going to be really really difficult to say goodbye to this place.....


Reflections on Deep Lake behind the old weather station. Deep lake is a hypersaline lake which never freezes, not even in -40 degree temperatures. On days without wind, the mirrored reflections of the Vestfold Hills can be crystal clear. (c) J.Feast

Deep Lake Reflections

Weddell Seal Lazes in the sun out between some Icebergs off Davis Station, Antarctica (c) J.Feast

Its a tough life being a seal...   (c) J.Feast

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