Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goodbye to the "Little Red Ship!"

Friday, November 23, 2007 at 07:40 LT

With the rescue of all guests and crew now complete, the National Geographic Endeavour approaches the heavily listing Explorer. It is a very stunning and emotional moment as we watch the very first ship ever specifically designed for Antarctic expedition travel in her final death throws. She would manage to stay afloat for several more hours before finally succumbing to the sea.

It is really rather sad to watch (and film) the entire event. Of course many of the staff on board our ship had worked and known the Explorer throughout her almost 40 years in polar travel. Some thought that it was a fitting end to a ship that had carried so many people to the ends of the Earth; much better to die at sea (after safely delivering all her passengers for rescue) than to end up as scrap metal in a shipyard somewhere.

Our entire ship was silent as we slowly circled the dying Explorer. Captain Oliver Kruess of the National Geographic Endeavour gave a farewell set of blasts on our ship's horn in tribute to the "Little Red Ship."

A final view of the sinking Explorer with her passenger rescuer the Nordnorge behind. All passengers were safely transferred to a research base on King George Island and then flown to their various homes around the world, none the less for the wear, but with an amazing story to share!
For my part I got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a news reporter covering a world-wide breaking story. I sent images via satellite to one of my agencies in London, who quickly got them out on the BBC wire service. The images were immediately picked up and distributed worldwide to television stations and newspapers everywhere. My images were on CNN news, BBC news, several of their affiliates and even the AP. On Saturday November 24 my images graced the cover of the Saturday edition of the London Times, as well as being published in the New York Times and many other newspapers worldwide! Friends sent copies of papers with my images in them from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, and Ireland. Literally hundreds of newspaper publications form this single event.
And now my fifteen minutes of fame have come and gone, captured in a few moments on a CF card at the bottom of the world. I can peacefully go back to doing what I do best, capturing moments of wildlife doing incredible things in amazing places. I guess it really isn't so different after all...

Visit http://www.wildlifeimages.netto see my other photos.

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