David Crosses The Antarctic Circle

David fulfils a long-standing ambition to visit Antarctica and explore the continent, the wildlife, and the history of the region

 

At Bigger Printing, we like to celebrate our teams’ achievements inside and outside of the work environment, especially when they do something a little bit different. Take for example our In-house Creative, David, and his latest ‘holiday’.

David is passionate about photography, and travelling – especially to environments that are not on the usual tourist routes. This year he was able to fulfil a long-standing ambition to visit Antarctica and explore the continent, the wildlife, and the history of the region. He has of course come back with quite a few photos (2982 at the last count), and he hasn’t even finished organising all of them just yet!

David spent 3 weeks from February to March in Antarctica living on an ice breaker, making twice daily visits to the mainland to see a range of Penguin species in their natural habitat, as well as encountering numerous species of Antarctic birds, Whales and Seals. David was able to get incredibly close to the water-based wildlife as he spent around 14 hours sea-kayaking in Antarctica. With 10 experts on the ship, David was able to tap into their extensive knowledge and experience of the continent to get the most out of his time there. These experts covered areas including Antarctic wildlife, history, survival, kayaking, camping and navigation.

Commenting on the trip, David says “This really was a trip of a life time; the whole continent is so special. It’s so different from anywhere else I have ever been as no-one lives in Antarctica, apart from a few scientists stationed in various research bases – one of which I was able to have a quick tour of. Every night, our Expedition Leader would inform us of what he would like us to do the next day, however, this almost always changed due to the fast-changing weather conditions. Sometimes, icebergs had been blown into a bay making it impossible for us to enter it, or the waves would be too high to risk a landing. If we were unable to visit where we had planned to go, the team were excellent in finding somewhere else, or just taking us out in the elements so we were always able to get off the ship – it just might have been snowing a lot, and the sea might have been a little rough! The wildlife also had an effect on our itinerary, for example, if a pod of Whales had been spotted on route to a destination, we would stop to spend time watching and photographing them.

Every kayaking session was a different experience, some days the sun would be out and I would need sunscreen on, other days it would be snowing heavily, and the sea would be a bit choppy. We always saw so much wildlife, and the scenery was breathtaking – it’s a very difficult environment to predict, and describe! We would usually be out on the water somewhere between 2 – 4 hours at a time.

There were so many highlights it is hard to pick just one out, but the night we spent camping was very special. All night, glaciers and icebergs were breaking up and falling into the ocean around us providing quite a soundtrack for the night. Watching an iceberg that was larger than a house rotate a full 180 degrees after a section had broken away was also quite an experience, the roar it made as it flipped over unbelievable. Now I just need to plan the next adventure.”