Not long until will leave Belgium and head South. We are incredibly excited, slightly daunted, but most importantly we’re READY to face the challenges that the ice and the ocean hold in store for us.
For the documentary we have all the camera equipment in place. For those in the know: we will be shooting with the incredibly compact but powerful Sony A7Sii, which we’ve paired with two gorgeous glasses: a vintage 50mm Mammyia + Metabones Adapter, as well as one of Sony’s highest rated wide angle zoom lenses (G Series FE 16-35mm F2.8) to capture Antarctica’s breathtakingly vast landscape. To keep the glare out of our footage we’ve invested in one of the best filters out there, the BW variable ND filter.
So with all the best gear on our side, we’re now working closely with our director to put it to its best use and potential.
After two days of traveling we have finally arrived in Ushuaia. Ben (our skipper) picked us up from the airport. Even though we were tired and exhausted, we went directly to the harbour and had a first look at the Australis, the ship we are going to call home for the next few weeks. Stowing away all our equipment and luggage was another challenge, however now is everything is packed and ready. Customs clearence tomorrow … planned departure on Sunday the 25th!!
Getting up at 4.30 to take our last flight. Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Our whole team is exited to finally see the Australis on which we’ll be living and working for the next month. But first, getting all our luggage back to airport.
We arrived safely in Buenos Aires. After 14h of flight, the warmth and humidity of northern Argentina is giving us a brief respite before it is getting colder again. Having one day to our next flight (to Ushuaia), we are using the time to explore the city, having brief science meetings for some of us (Charlène) and generally stacking up on sun and warmth.
With only 4 days to departure for Argentina and just a week for the planned departure from Ushuaia, things are getting serious. For most greater endeavours I undertake, I tend to start dreaming about it in advance. Same for this expedition; at least for that matter. My dream, as most dreams go, was a bit incoherent, but I do clearly remember being on a sailing ship, which unsurprisingly resembled the ‘Australis’ quite a bit. I was sitting on deck just before the mast and tried to keep my mind off these insanely high waves, which towered over our ship like mountains. In my dream I wasn’t particularity worried … but neither was I particularly calm.
So naturally, as I woke up, the first thing was to check the weather forecast for the Drake: for the next 3 days winds between 9 to 17 m/s, waves between 3 and 7 meters and temperatures around 4°C. Hopefully we will be lucky with the weather and we can proceed with our planned departure from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula on the 24th.
The duffel bags are (nearly) packed and ready, waiting at the entry of my flat for departure. Last minute preparations are still to be completed. The lion’s share of our (scientific) equipment has already been shipped months ago and is waiting for us in Ushuaia. However, there are always some last purchases to be made. Five days until departure: we will meet at the train station Brussel Zuid (Midi) and together take the train to Charles de Gaulle, Paris. From there we will board the plane to Buenos Aires. Ready for our low-emission expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula!