“Whales and Icebergs”

A stunning day today as we sailed on calm waters past icebergs lined up on the horizon and in the foreground. The highlight before lunch was a visit by two humpback whales about a couple of hundred meters away from the ship – breaching right up out of the water repeatedly. My first whale sighting ever and it’s a thrill. The landscape is such a contrast now. For our first week we saw only heaving seas full circle – as though all memory of the solidity and shapes of land needed that time to be obliterated from our memory. Now we have moved into a strange new wonderland with the icebergs placed around our field of vision, almost incongruously architectural, geometric, with such absolutely pure clean lines in contrast to the sea’s fluidity.

Photo – Zina Sofer

In the afternoon I gave a demonstration and performance on the bridge, with crew and voyagers who were interested crowding into the space. Apparently 5 albatross were hovering about, one whale, and some dramatic large icebergs very close while I played. The Korean film team who are going to be at Mawson over winter to film the penguin colonies were there to film the event. I played my new song, Mary Doumany’s ‘Ice’, Larry Sitsky’s ‘Fantasia’ , Martin Wesley-Smith’s ‘Bonzer Little Things’, and ‘The Boatman’ with Tom the  Scottish mountaineer on the pipe.

The consistent engine noise is the only thing I find rather wearing on the ship. I am used to a quiet life! – find it hard to think clearly, most noticeable when I try to play from memory, especially now we are using both engines to power ahead and make up some lost time.


4 responses to ““Whales and Icebergs”

  • philly mcauliffe

    Oh Alice, your harp is the baby of mine! Mine has the same coloured soundboard and the rest is called Botanic Green but is actually very bluey. It looks great with the ice. Love Philly

  • Sally

    Hi Alice! I am really enjoying reading your posts while you’re down south in the cold! I would really love to send you a harp piece I wrote – see what you think!
    All the best on your fantastic journey!

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