It's good to be back in blighty after several months in the Southern Hemisphere, my once in a lifetime trip to the Falkland Islands was primarily work orientated but it certainly had its perks. Amazing landscapes, dramatic beaches and very little night time light pollution which led to some amazing views of the Milky Way. Not forgetting the history and battlefield sites of 1982 which is to be honest quite humbling as well as one of the reasons I wanted to go.
I felt privileged enough but to top it off, not only did I get to witness the delights mentioned above, much to my surprise I also managed to find myself being invited onto a rather exclusive South Atlantic Survey flight around the islands of South Georgia. Stunningly beautiful, very dramatic islands that rise from rugged coast line to snow-capped peaks topping out at 2,935m over short distances. I’m sure the geological aerial survey was very important but for me it was all about managing to set my eyes on this very special remote part of the world. If I had a bucket list and I thought it was possible, I would almost certainly have put it on there. Renowned polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic was buried in Grytviken, South Georgia in 1921 at his wife’s request after suffering a fatal heart attack.
I had very little preparation time, literally finding out about the very early morning start late in the evening prior to departing, so camera gear was limited. Just as well really because being strapped into a harness in the open door of an aircraft as it passes just 200ft above the Antarctic Ocean and its huge ice caps, doesn’t really allow much time for changing lenses and memory cards. To be honest I would have been smiling even if I’d forgotten the camera, the pictures were just an added bonus.
The weather was as expected from the pre-flight brief, turbulent and rough at times with plenty of low clouds which is just how I’d imaged the islands and it was great to witness the rather daunting environment; however the weather was quite the opposite as we passed by the other side of the islands, beautiful blue skies and clear views. Luckily I managed to get a few decent images depicting both the drama of the stormy skies as well as the sun bathed mountain peaks.
The images here really don’t do the place justice, it has to be seen with your own eyes to truly appreciate it but hopefully they will give you an idea. Feel free to add your comments or questions.