“On the Continent at last”

This morning at 6am we started steaming into the harbour at Davis Station – a heavenly clear morning, still, quiet and spectacular. Bergs, rocky islands and thin ice forming on the water. We moored off the station and groups were taken ashore by helicopter from the deck – this involved the inevitable stifling safety suits and hanging about, but when we arrived the day was sunny and not too cold and we were really in Antarctica at last. There is much more rock than I imagined – it seems like the moon except with sea. I was shown around the Station buildings by the very helpful Doug the Comms (communications) fellow, who is also organising to get some of my movie files transferred. (They should arrive soon, although since there are so many people on the station at the moment, with us visitors all using the internet connection, it might take a couple of days…) I had a most incredible day with baby harp on the little beach (yes Antarctica has a beach!!) amongst the elephant seals and the iced over sea slushing, the sound of the barge unloading from the ship in the background, and was able to record some wind through the harp sounds and even pieces, without my fingers freezing off. Even walked up close to two Adelie penguins – they were so still I thought they couldn’t be real. When the wind came up suddenly the strings felt as though they had icicles on them and I had to stop pretty quickly. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as sunny so I can take some more footage. The elephant seals are huge, slug-like creatures and I was able to get fairly close although I was scared at first. They just lie about on the beach all day, but one entered the sea just as I was recording – you’ll see it on the video clip.

adelies at davis


3 responses to ““On the Continent at last”

  • Jill Atkinson

    Bravo Alice – I am reading your adventures with great interest and respect for the challenges you have undertaken and all the things you are learning, and the open-mindednes with which you have approached this expdtition.
    I hope you will make a CD recording of all the new pieces to come out of this trip, for sale later on, once you are back in warmer places. Certainly exeriencing the climate and environment in Antarctica in this way, and the boat trip to get there in the first place, gives you a huge edge on interpreting sound perfomances on this theme. I’ll stay posted!
    Jill, Brisbane

  • kate

    Hi Alice
    So much of your report makes me smile but particularly that being in Antarctica ‘seems like the moon except with sea’. 🙂 (oh, that this may become the title of song…)

    with smiles and waves from planet earth

  • Kate Moloney

    Hi Alice,
    How are you? How is the trip going? I have been reading your blogs and everything sounds really interesting. I can’t imagine playing my harp somewhere so amazing. It must feel incredibly special. It must feel good being able to play both your harps now.
    Mum’s class has been following your adventure. They are really excited about being able to talk to you.
    I hope everything continues to go well for you and look forward to hearing more about your trip.
    Bye for now,

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