Monday, November 9, 2009

Ship's Log: Day 9

October 14th

We sailed through the night. At breakfast, Jan told us that we would arrive at Magdalenafjorden by 11am. Shortly after breakfast the ship started rocking and rolling, throwing us about as if we were ping pong balls. I went up on deck to film the rolling seas. I've never seen anything like it. Aaron had to hang on to me while I was filming so I wasn't blown overboard. When I came back in, Willie (one of the artists) was in a complete state of panic, saying "please just make it stop."

It finally did when we arrived at the protected bay of Magdalenafjorden. Audun and I decided to take out the kayak even though there was a frozen rain falling and the swells were still pretty big for kayaking. Audun started out in the single and I shot from the Zodiac thinking that it would be easier to film that way ... it wasn't! I was thrown around in the boat and couldn't hold the camera steady at all. I had rigged the rain cover from my big Sony camera to fit my Cannon SLR. It required using electrical tape to secure the cover around the lens. This seemed like a good idea, but made it impossible to get to the focus ring. Most of what I shot was out of focus and jumpy. The few shots that I did get definitely show what rough water kayaking looks like, although my favorite shots are when I'm flying around yelling "I have no control of the camera!"

Kuang-YuIn the afternoon I filmed a project for Kuang-Yu Tsui while a large group took a hike to the glacier. Kuang-Yu stood on an iceberg (a dangerous move that had to be OK'd by both the Captain and Aaron) with a sign as if he were standing at a bus stop. Sebastian was driving the Zodiac. He would pull up to the iceberg, sort of ramming into it, and pick him up as if the Zodiac were the bus and he was the bus driver (even down to accepting the fare). It was difficult to shoot since it was raining and sleeting. I found it impossible to keep the lens clean and was frustrated at not being able to get a good shot. I was also wishing that I could have gone on the walk to the glacier.

Today was a tough day full of frustration. I'm realizing that the trip is coming to an end and I am missing shots that I need for my project. I'm feelings are so conflicted. I miss Bob and my life back in New York so much, but I also realize that this is the most amazing time and landscape that I've ever experienced and I don't want it to end. Matt Holzman described it well when he said he was experiencing "present nostalgia." I'm already missing the moments I'm living.

We raised sail about 3am and started to make our way to Ny Alesund. Shortly after our departure we hit some major weather. The ship was rolling like crazy. Both Katja and I woke up from being thrown about in our bunks and from the noise of things crashing around us. It sounded like every piece of glass on the boat was smashing. Katja and I played a guessing game of name that thing that just flew across our cabin ... tripods, pelican cases, boots, etc.

We have a porthole in the top of our cabin. We could hear all the people who had gone out on deck to get air. People were laughing (somewhat hysterically), screaming, and occasionally crying. Willie was freaking repeating "Oh la la, Oh la la!" Matt and a couple others were trying to make light of the fact that the ship had turned into a rollercoaster. Katja and I could hear Matt laughing (trying to sound reassuringly calm, but actually sounding a bit like a crazy man). A lot of Xanax was used that night -- people were just putting it in each other's mouths. It was definitely a night of Arctic hysteria and would forever after be referred to as the Night of Terror!

No comments:

Post a Comment