Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Southern Ocean’s Magical Contrast

Simon Ager
Photographer, Gojira

Simon AgerSitting on the bow of the Gojira in my dry suit while the spray from the Southern Ocean whips at me, I feel my face and hands burning from the chill of the icy waters. Yet I’m smiling, and very, very content as we cruise along at a comfortable speed of 13 knots. The swells are being kind to us making the Gojira roll gently as if to lull us to sleep. At 10 p.m., the sky looks as if it’s on fire with a sunset that seemingly goes on kissing the ocean for eternity while a sooty albatross joins us, sweeping in gently as if its also enjoying the radiance emanating from the last embers of this evening’s sun.

A sharp contrast to this morning’s winter wonderland, the 4 a.m. watch goes by fast when you’re dodging growlers, but none the less exciting all the same. The morning saw the Gojira graced in ice white snowflakes as we rumbled along through heavy swells and blizzards. The veil of snow was lifted from the Gojira by late morning, as we continued our chase of the Japanese whaling fleet that started in the hourly hours of the day prior. There was indeed no better way to ring in the New Year!