Eek! A Polar Plunge in the Southern Ocean – you’ve got to be kidding!!

Paradise Bay.The view from the back of the boat
Paradise Bay.
The view from the back of the boat

Everyone had a ball.... :)

I didn’t want to do it at first – in fact I actually hadn’t given it much thought at all…

The ship anchored in Paradise Bay and at that stage, I was happy to photograph everyone and soak up the atmosphere.

There were a few factors that changed my mind….

1. Everyone else was doing it – and I hate missing out on anything.. 🙂

2. There was great music playing and lots of support from the crew…

3. One of my wonderful new friends on the boat found me and said “Chris, why don’t you do it? This is a chance to cleanse your body of all your sins (really?) and wipe the slate clean…

Well what do you say to that? I quickly rushed back to my cabin – put my cossie on and hurried back to deck 3.

I didn’t even hesitate…I ran down the stairs, walked off the back of the ship into the zodiac…and dived in…

Me....Going, going, gone...
Me….
Going, going, gone…
Me again
Me again

Well – that day the Southern Ocean was a balmy 2 degrees…hmmmm

It was exhilarating.

and COLD.

The water was crystal clear and yes, it shocked my body…but it was truly, truly worth it and something I’ll never forget.

Life’s too short to go to The Antarctic and NOT jump into the Southern Ocean….

Thanks to John Rodsted for some of these awesome pics 🙂

Here are some of my other new buddies…..

Don’t forget to click on the pics to make them larger.

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

More new friends
More new friends
Kellie & Mark..
Kellie & Mark..
Show off!!
Allan – Show off!!
Nick..The guy that finally convinced me.
Nick..The guy that finally convinced me.

_MG_9245-Edit

Antarctica and that blue, blue ice

I’ve just returned from Antarctica. I saw many breathtaking scenes that I am still dreaming about.

But the real reason I went there was the icebergs. I’ve always been fascinated by them and they were initially what lured me to Antarctica.

Well I certainly got my dose of those. 100’s of them – large and small – they were all spectacular.

I particularly loved the larger ones – such tall, powerful structures that drift in the peaceful stillness of the waters of the 5th largest continent.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. Being down low in the zodiac, it felt very surreal, as if I was in another world and at one with the ice.

Its almost as if time has forgotten them.

Why are some of the icebergs blue? Well its really all about compression of the ice and the colour spectrum.

Icebergs come from glaciers, which are formed by continual ice and snow. Snowflakes (frozen water) form and then become cystalized. A snowflake is a multi faceted crystal and these facets reflect light. As snow accumulates on the glacier huge amounts of air is trapped.

The blue colour occurs in ice that is generally hundred’s to thousand’s of years old. Continual compression as the glacier moves and heads towards the sea plus the continual thawing and refreezing of the ice causes the air that was originally trapped by the falling snow to be expelled. The ability to reflect light (and therefore appear white ) only exists when there is air trapped between the snow crystals. This very old, very dense ice is no longer capable of reflecting light .

Light that now hits the iceberg no longer reflects off it, it is absorbed by it. The weaker wavelengths of light are quickly filtered out (red, orange, yellow, green.) The blue wavelength has enough energy to reflect from, or penetrate deep within the iceberg therefore giving it that gorgeous blue colour……

Cool huh? 🙂

These photos were taken at Cierva Cove, Antarctica. 64.16S 60.89W. Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them…

_MG_8197

_MG_8182-Edit

_MG_8154

_MG_8142

_MG_8123

Italian Riviera – Cinque Terre on a beautiful day

20121125-095047.jpg

I can’t stop myself – drifting off and dreaming of the places I visited in Italy. They are still so fresh in my mind.
One of my favourite days was spent exploring the ‘Cinque Terre’ region on the Italian Riviera in Italy….
It was one of those days that just being outside made you feel good. The sky was a brilliant blue against the intense colour of the Mediterranean…

There was so much to see and take in….the beautiful, colourful houses nestled in amongst the rugged rocks. The colourful rows of fishing boats and the bright, beautiful flowers in every colour imaginable…

Our world has many so many magnificent places to visit and Italy has so many of them 🙂

These are some of my favourite photos from that day….
I hope you enjoy them 🙂

20121125-110443.jpg

20121125-110521.jpg

20121125-110553.jpg

20121125-110621.jpg

Planes, trains, automobiles and…..ferries

To get around (or across) Lake Como there were two options – Driving. Hmmm. Or catching the Ferry.

On Lake Como I found the batelli the easiest way to get from one side of the lake to the other.

The local ferries are a quick and efficient way to travel between the villages and towns dotted around the lake.

I loved being out on the water and was able to admire some of the smaller villages, whilst relaxing and gazing in awe at the spectacular mountains all around me!

Residents going to and from work, cyclists and tourists all line up at the many ferry wharfs around the lake to board the ferries every day.

There are slow ferries, rapido ferries and ferries that look like they are from days gone by 🙂

You can even use the traghetti (car ferry) to transport your car between one side of the lake and the other!

We never had to wait too long for a ferry, although none of the services we caught coordinated with the timetable 🙂

They were definitely running on Italian time……

Have you been to Lake Como?

Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

A magical place….early morning on Lake Como, Italy

Hi everyone,

Im finally back at my desk. For those of you that don’t know I’ve just spent 5 weeks away in Italy, France and the UK. 🙂

It was fantastic. All my senses were filled with beautiful views, food that was to die for, warm friendly people and the wonderful sound of the Italian and French languages spoken all around me.

My camera was also in overload…I took LOTS of photos. I seriously mean LOTS. 🙂

I wanted to show you a view of Lake Como taken from my balcony on our first morning just as the Lake was starting to come to life.

What a truly magical place…

Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it….

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

 

 

What a great start to the day….sunrise at Cronulla Beach

Sunrise really is a special time of the day.

The light is spectacular and I love nothing more than getting out on my own with my camera 🙂

This series of shots were taken at Cronulla Beach earlier this year.

I used fast and slow shutter speeds to record the movement of the water and the lone swimmer who was enjoying his early morning dip.

Do you like to get up and enjoy the sunrise?

Have a wonderful day….and don’t forget to click on the pics to view them as a slideshow 🙂

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

 

Aah Venice…..

I am the luckiest girl on the planet. 🙂

In less than two weeks I leave on a 5 week trip of Italy, France and the UK. Yay!!

So today I thought I’d show you one of my favourite photos of Venice – a place I’ve visited twice before that truly took my breath away.

This beautiful city in Northern Italy is made up of 118 small islands linked by bridges. It was a major maritime force during the middle ages and also a trading centre for spice, silk and grain from the 13th century up till the end of the 17th century.

Also well renowned for its art and beauty, this ‘city of canals’ is also called the most romantic city in the world….

To me it was.

The first time I visited I drank it all in – got lost, saw all the sights, rode in a gondola, enjoyed the people and the FANTASTIC architecture. My favourite place of all was St Mark’s Square and the beautiful winged lion (the symbol of The Republic of Venice)

St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace were magnificent and it was right there in the square that I fell in love with the city. I imagined all the Venetians of long ago and wondered who else had fallen in love here? Who had met here? 

The second time I visited I was with a small tour group and we walked into the middle of the square holding hands with our eyes closed (I told them it would be a great way to get your first glimpse of the square)

When we opened our eyes, they gazed in awe at the beautiful church and the surrounding architecture of the square.

I was reduced to tears…So much beauty…

It was as if the city wrapped me up in itself. I’ll never forget how I felt there….

Im looking forward to having that feeling again….

Don’t forget to click on the photo to enlarge it 🙂

Have you been to Venice? Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.