Larry Broder Goes the Distance for a Photo
December 27, 2007 -- After three very long flights, we landed at the tip of South America in Ushuaia. It's the most southern city in the world, very windy, and the jumping-off point for anyone heading to Antarctica. We boarded our ship, also called the Ushuaia -- not a big ship, it held only 80 people -- and spent three weeks sailing from the Falklands to the Continent of Antarctica.
Along the way we had a few very big storms with 80 mph winds!!! On more than one night, we were unable to sleep because we were hanging onto our bunks -- and would have been thrown off onto the floor had we not "hung on." Lots of people were sick, but fortunately I wasn't one of them.
We also got off the ship every day once or twice and were taken on shore or through the ice formations on Zodiac inflatable boats -- getting from the ship onto the rolling rubber boats was another adventure! At times on shore we were surrounded by over a quarter million penguins, and the smell was almost overwhelming. They are cute, but the reality is very smelly, and they have no fear of man.
Trying to eat on board the ship while you're at sea was also fun because you and your food were being sent in different directions as the ship went through a storm. All the tables had rubber matting on them to try to prevent the plates from sliding off. One night I was thrown into a metal bulkhead and had a huge bump on my head for over a week.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and you must really want to photograph in that part of the world to go. Now, there are too many huge ships taking people down there, and the "real" photographers are finding it more difficult to obtain permission to go ashore because of the large tourist industry, which now brings huge 3,000-person ships to the area.
The ship I was on hit an iceberg and floundered this past fall, but its sister ship sank a year ago -- thankfully, all hands were saved. I did shoot over 3,000 images on this trip and also spent an extra five days in Patagonia before coming back to Marlboro.
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