Regarding tourist ships stuck in the ice, apparently the “Captain Khlebinkov” is out of the pack ice in the Weddell Sea and headed back to Ushuaia, running just a couple days behind schedule. But after the incident was first reported, I had an email from a passenger who’d been on the previous voyage with the “CK,” reporting that the ship had taken a very similar route – near to Snow Hill, down the east side of the Peninsula, just into the Weddell Sea – and had gotten similarly “stuck” amongst the ice in windy, whiteout conditions. It was, she wrote, a fantastic adventure!
In Ushuaia, the ship will pick up another group of passengers and apparently is headed back towards the same region, the same risks. As the season progresses (i.e. warms) there’s more chance the thick ice will begin to move out, but there’s no guarantee. I’m obviously not on the ship, and don’t know what the captain knows … but … returning to a place along the Peninsula where you’ve managed to get stymied by wind – or lack of wind – and lots and lots of thick, old ice two trips in a row seems a bit odd, a bit risky. I’m assuming the company has sold the trip based on getting into the Weddell Sea and is delivering! We’ll watch its website to see how it progresses.
Meanwhile, I’m writing from the comfort of Paris, where yesterday I spent the day with filmmaker Jacques Perrin and his team who are set to launch their new, eight-years-in-the-making OCEANS film (premieres in France late in January and in the U.S. on Earth Day, April 22). I screened the movie last night and, following on the global success of their “Winged Migration,” OCEANS promises to change the way movie-goers view and consider the ocean. Since the film is still something of a work in progress (some reviews have started to trickle out) I’ll hold off on any specific comment. Suffice to say OCEANS is the ‘wildlife opera’ that Perrin describes, delivering the most beautiful imagery from the undersea world that I’ve yet seen.
I’m fortunate to be linked to the film in a small way, editing an anthology of ocean issues writings to accompany the movie’s release in the U.S. in April.
My route to Paris took me to film festivals in Graz, Austria, and Torello, Spain … so I’ve had a full ten days of travel and movie watching. Our most recent film – TERRA ANTARCTICA – played at both, to great, fun review, which is always nice. After ten days I’m not sure that I ever need to see another ‘traditional’ ski film again; you know the variety, verging on ski porn? Snowboarders and skiers hucking and chucking themselves off impossibly higher and more dangerous peaks, dropped there by risk-taking helicopter pilots and more than occasionally plunging to death in the rocks below. Given all that’s going in the natural world around, both the threats that are everywhere and the cultures that abound in those very same mountains, do we really need to see more young white guys and girls risking their necks on the steeps for the cameras?