Just returned from an amazing southern journey to the Ross Sea, Antarctica. This year had a twist though; we broke the furthest south a vessel has ever navigated on earth.
Furthest South by ship ever – MV The World, Bay of Whales, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. 78°43•997´S, 28 Jan 2017. ©Rob Suisted /EYOS Expeditions / MV The World.
Capt Dag H. Saevik, Master of MV The World, and Rob McCallum, concentrating on furthest south record.
Rob Suisted did an interview with Radio New Zealand, via satellite from the Ross Sea. The full interview:
Other noteworthy experiences included seeing Ross Seals (the least seen seal on the planet, and the first seen by Rob in 18 trips south), and an abundance of Emperor Penguins on the pack ice this year.
Rarely seen Ross Seal, Antarctica ©Rob Suisted
Emperor Penguins ©Rob Suisted
Rob Suisted was assistant expedition leader onboard MV The World, the world’s largest private yacht, working with expedition leader Rob McCallum of EYOS Expeditions (who specialise in creating cutting edge expeditions around the world). You can see a few of Rob’s tweets relating to the voyage here. Or, have a look at Rob Suisted’s extensive Antarctica photo library.
Smoko time. Rob Suisted enjoying a break from driving zodiacs amongst pack ice, Ross Sea, Antarctica
Plenty of folks would get in line to shoot Gareth Morgan I’m sure, but it’s not that easy – I can attest.
Gareth Morgan is a man of many interests, passions and opinions, whose strong desire to get good things done can certainly polarise - take his cat control views (which have gone global) for instance.
Gareth Morgan and 'Plan B' - face mask and snorkel. There is no Plan B with climate change. On melting ice, Antarctica. ©Rob Suisted, for NZ Geographic
So I was certainly keen when NZ Geographic Magazine commissioned me shoot Gareth for a portrait profile piece. Serendipity intervened again, as I discovered that we were to be on the same ship in Antarctica the following month.
Gareth Morgan is a strong climate change campaigner and author of a book on the subject, so a bit of creative dreaming arrived at a strong metaphorical image to capture the man’s character and one of his important messages.
This was my 17th trip to Antarctica. I drive boats and lecture, as a break from professional photography. So, we took a boat on Xmas day, out into flat water behind Plenneau Island, borrowed a face mask and snorkel, and dropped Gareth off on the best piece of ice we could find to represent the melting ice of climate change. The casual holding of the face mask and snorkel in normal business attire was designed to represent the foolish notion that many people carry, vis, that we have a ‘plan B’ somewhere for climate change. Plan B isn’t an option – just as a facemask isn’t here.
I’m proud of the result – strong metaphorical frame that captures Gareth Morgan in a striking way – no trickery, no post production work – simple. BUT check out the pile of comments on Gareth Morgan’s facebook page. It’s galling when some people, from the comfort of their home, suggest a great photo must be ‘photo-shopped’. *Cough* – THAT photo is the combination of skills learnt over a long time as a professional photographer, planning, a good creative process, and qualifications and experience operating boats on over 20 polar expeditions! Everyone is a cynic, a critic, or blimin both…
Rob Suisted polar guiding and boat driving
Anyway, here’s the NZ Geographic Magazine article the image was used in: Out in the Cold. And Gareth was a bloody good sort, keenly signing up to the idea, and willingly being marooned on a small ice floe while we (I and his family) drifted off without him, in the frozen middle of nowhere. Shot with a Pentax 645Z and DFA25mm lens.