My very first piece of fine art, from St. Petersburg-based oil painter Victor Kobzev, whom I met on board 50 let Pobedy, depicting our ship and the icy landscape of the high Arctic. The sky is based off a photograph I took in Franz Josef Land. I am so proud to own this and will treasure it always, it is such a lovely memento from this time in my life.
Before I began my time as Expedition Photographer on board icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, I wondered if I might tire of the polar landscape near to the North Pole. How much variety could there really be when all you’ve got to work with is endless ice and sky?
Now I can tell a different story. I was absolutely mesmerized with the textures, colors, shadows and shapes that carried on for hundreds of miles as we traveled further and further North. The slightest change in light affected the way the ice glistened below it. The sun hung low on the horizon and on my favorite evenings, like the last photo, everything shone gold.
This was a great bear. We spotted her at 78° 58’N, South of Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic. She wandered, gazed into melt pools, jumped and swam between ice floes, rolled around in the snow to dry off, posed for our cameras and then made eye contact and pooped.
It’s 6am, I’m sitting in my hotel room in Helsinki. In just a couple of hours, myself, a few other expedition members and 120 well-paying travelers will head to the airport, board a charter flight for Murmansk, bus to the Atomflot Nuclear Base where we will board the world’s only nuclear-powered passenger icebreaker vessel, bound for the North Pole on the first of three 10 day trips.
I will be the Expedition Photographer on board NS 50 Years of Victory for 5 weeks, 3 round trips from Murmansk to the North Pole. This morning it feels like the first day of school, I am full of nerves. I have come to feel at home on the MS Expedition, so venturing out to learn a new ship, a new team, a new itinerary is daunting.
Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, this ship will have no Internet connection so I will be radio silent for a while. I am hoping to get a bit of wifi on our first turnaround day in port on the 26th.