On the morning of December 5th, we received our daily wake up call at 7:00 AM informing us that we would
be making a landing at Steeple Jason. We were informed this might not be a landing for all passengers as it required stepping out of the zodiacs onto wet and jagged rocks, and then make a long hike up and over a hill, and that there then might be 40+ wind gusts- but if we did- we would witness a colony of over 157,000 nesting black-browed albatross. I decided to make the landing. As we came over the the hill, we could hear the sounds of thousands of albatross and then the ocean came into view. The winds died, the sun came out, and we all made our way down a cliff, negotiating through tussock taller than ourselves. It was like walking through an English garden maze. When I came to the clearing, I found myself standing next to Ralph Lee Hopkins, one of the National Geographic photographers on board the Explorer. He was literally calling the shots. " Incoming- Incoming- Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" It was like a video arcade game. " Click-click- click....... hundreds of shutters closing. Four hundred photographs later, I managed to get about ten that are pretty good. I am learning that in the world of wildlife photography- that is about what to expect. Although, I loved and missed the ice, this was perhaps the most exciting landing of the trip. I will never forget the sheer beauty of the sea and the wonders of the wildlife nesting on its shores.