The last time I wrote to LLYOV I had just returned from an epic trip to Antarctica with G Adventures. I fell in such deep love with the land and the way the team operated the expedition that I made it my personal mission to manifest a job with this company to be a part of it once again. Though I was neither a marine biologist nor a polar conservationist, I did have the specific chops of playing music. So it worked out, but this time it was much further North, and no penguins in sight. Instead, a solitary polar bear roamed the barren tundra and ice flows broke apart like wafer thins. It was the Arctic.
North of Norway on a small archipelago called Svalbard, I joined an incredible team of biologists, naturalists, and scientists as the Expedition Team, people regarded for their study of polar bears, being among the first to breed Emperor Penguins outside of Antarctica and spearheading the conservation of the California Condor. It was pretty much my version of heaven getting to interact with them on a daily basis.
Though I was the music component of the expedition, I was trained in a slew of other tasks that never in a million years I thought I would do- driving 15-passenger zodiacs through the icy waters being one, and handling a rifle to protect from polar bears being another. Who needs to play the guitar when you can drive a zodiac! I loved being a part of the ship from this side of the lens and connecting with people from all over the world, contributing to their bucket list while adding to mine.
Here is a video I cut together to give a sense of the Arctic. There’s footage of a polar bear on a killing spree, sailing mere kilometers from the North Pole and being dangerously close to a calving glacier, it conveys the wild beauty of this part of the planet that is rapidly disappearing. More info on Arctic conservation available here: http://oceansnorth.org/
LLYOV Antarctica Link: http://llyov.org/1003
G Adventures: http://www.gadventures.com/