30 January 2012, 04:11, sunrise near Ross Island, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Pack ice in foreground. I’m not sure if the large flat slabs of ice in the distance are icebergs or part of an ice shelf extending north from Ross Island. Just to the right out of the picture, is Mount Erebus. Ship is moving steadily, though slowly, south through the ice.
We sighted our first penguin on 27 January 2012 at 14:11, still several hundred kilometres from the nearest land. Within a few hours we saw several more penguins, including some small groups, and a few seals.
Mount Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica, 30 January 2012, 10:58. The expedition leaders said it’s rare to see Mount Erebus this clearly; usually the cloud cover goes well down the slopes. So I feel deeply privileged to have had most of a day to enjoy the beauty of the volcano in changing light conditions and from different angles as the ship moved around the area.
2 February 2012, 09:30. The colours and fracture edges of icebergs were many, varied, and frequently dramatic. Need I repeat that my photography does not do justice to the experience?
Antarctic Sunset, 1 Feb 2012, 23:27, looking south. The ship was moving left (east) to right. The sun had almost set to the left of the iceberg, when the ship’s path caused the sun to go behind the berg. There was a loud collective groan of disappointment from the dozens of passengers at not seeing the moment the sun slipped below the horizon (everyone wanted to see the green flash).
28 January 2012, 04:10. The ship was surrounded by plates and lumps of ice. Fortunately there was enough open water between the ice for the ship to shove it carefully aside. During the passage through the ice, crew members kept watch from the crow’s nest, looking for the best route.
Pack ice at sunset, 27 Jan 2012, 22:38. As we headed south across the Southern Ocean from New Zealand, on route to the Ross Sea in Antarctica, we encountered a long barrier of pack ice. At the narrowest point it was approximately 100 km deep, with no guarantee the ship (which was not an icebreaker) would be able to pass through it safely and successfully. The journey was slow, giving passengers plenty of time to enjoy the changing light on the ice, the water, and the sky.