A Place Beyond Imagination
I stopped paddling in Paradise Bay today to listen to the crash of the glacier ahead. I dropped back behind the group and was quickly left in silence as the patter of paddles moved on. The sound of the ice was incredible, it squeals and pops in the sea as it melts. These were remnants of the ancient ice that was breaking off the glacier ahead; ice dating back nearly 60,000 years. I can barely even fathom that time. I was in awe looking at the cascading frozen glacier above.
To be so calm and quiet is such a unique experience. When we were kayaking at Almirante Brown Station around Paradise Bay through calm flat waters surrounded by glaciers and icebergs, it was so quiet. I felt so alone in the environment. It was just the group of us kayaking quietly. This trip has definitely changed the focus of my life as now I want to explore the earth. Being in Antarctica has instilled a desire in my heart to spend my life in nature.
–Marco de Kretser
We Are Guests in Antarctica
Today was the most astounding day. I am still buzzing with the thrill and privilege of seeing some of the most astounding natural encounters our planet has to offer.
The things that truly left me speechless were the whales and the incredible intimacy we had in this remote place. The whales started appearing all around the bay. A mother and her three four-tonne calves were right next to us. Our small group was utterly ecstatic and humbled by the power of the encounter.
A Family Legacy
We were walking around the deserted old whaling station on Deception Island when we spotted a half-buried Massey Ferguson tractor. It wasn’t one of Ed’s but it was the same type he used on his expedition to the South Pole. I feel like our team is having its own adventure here, in a place that Ed really cherished. He loved the idea of young people getting out and exploring. He was always encouraging that spirit of adventure in his grandkids, even on a small scale like climbing trees at the beach house, or around the garden. He would have been thrilled to see this awesome team of young Kiwis out exploring this incredible landscape.
(Photo by Nigel Watson)
A Raw, Real Place
I’m quickly beginning to realise that the most impressive thing about Antarctica is the scale. It is like nothing anywhere else on earth. We drift past icebergs on our Zodiac. The mounds of ice soar above us. The textures accentuate their ancient history, from their formation in mountains thousands of metres above us, to when they fractured off towering glaciers into the bay where they now stand.
–Marco de Kretser
At the Mercy of Ice and Wind
It’s exhilarating to think of the early Antarctic explorers during moments of adventure and challenge on this trip. We are forming our own adventure and testing ourselves in a new and foreign place, but explorers of the heroic era like Amundsen, Borchgrevink, Scott and Shackleton were forging tracks into the unknown, so unfamiliar and far from home that it could have been another world. For me, our Antarctic adventure was a test of my adventurous spirit and a way to grasp at the physical and emotional accomplishments of those great adventurers.
Wow, This is Really Happening
The best wildlife by far for me was the leopard seals. At Cuverville Island, a leopard seal played around our Zodiac for ages, even popping its head up and sticking its face in front of my camera. It was looking me in the eye and giving me some freaky smiles. And then it followed us, leaping in and out of the wake of the boat. Even our boat driver was saying she had never seen anything like that before in her life.
–Marco de Kretser
The Antarctic Soundscape, by Marco de Kretser, accompanies the physical exhibition at Christchurch Airport, New Zealand. You can download this soundscape here.Download Now